Re-Frame: Research Is an Important Part of Organizing But We Don’t Always Have to Adopt Research as “Research.”
We at Movement Matters found this perspective to be incredibly helpful as we work with organizations and communities to navigate member-led research processes and as we have helped the Indigenous Environmental Network develop popular education curricula for their Indigenous Just Transition framework. Dr. Wilson’s recognition of the need to contextualize understanding within relationships and conditions, to center the role of oral storytelling as a means of holding and transferring knowledge, and to acknowledge the dangers and opportunities of existing in “transitional spaces” between two worlds, are all important paradigms to integrate into community process.
Dr. Wilson also highlights the role of ceremony and ritual to help people “step beyond the everyday”. This transformation of purpose and unity of focus can also connect to the process of understanding the issues we face in our communities. Even for non-Indigenous communities, the integration of ritual and culture can break community members free from dominant paradigms and allow for new insights and understanding to emerge.
This book can help organizers think about the ways in which their work on the ground can lead to collectively held knowledge. Dr. Wilson’s own journey is a reminder to honor the ways that our life experiences, our intuition, and our relationships are all elements of how we learn and build our collective knowledge. His words are also a “setting of the stage” to take action and create change around us for the sake of our communities and the relationships we hold.
To read more about Dr. Shawn Wilson
Watch Dr. Wilson lead a presentation about "Research Is Ceremony" (ceremony focus)
Watch Dr. Wilson lead a presentation about "Research Is Ceremony" (research focus)