Popular education and research are key pillars of Project NIA's strategy for creating social change. We develop curriculum, offer training to key stakeholders, and present timely workshops on issues related to juvenile justice and the prison industrial complex. The approach that we use focuses on popular education which Walters and Manicom (1997) suggest:
"involves an inherently self-reflective, reflexive and non-dogmatic approach. It works to make space for collective production of knowledge and insight, and builds on what emerges from the experiences of those actively participating. The richness of the approach lives, therefore in the thought and implicit analysis that has gone into the design of the specific educational events and programmes, and in the spontaneous, sometimes serendipitous, process it unfolds at a particular moment, yielding even more challenges and possibilities."
Project NIA believes that education is a central part of getting involved in the movement for social change.
Research is an important part of our work at Project NIA. In particular, we rely on action research as our form of inquiry. Action research "involves people working together in order to democratically and collaboratively produce knowledge that can be used to produce accountable change (Carroll et. al., 2011)." We produce reports, write articles, and conduct evaluations that are useful to stakeholders who are interested in juvenile justice issues in Chicago and Illinois.
- The Chicago Prison Industrial Complex Teaching Collective
- Understanding the Illinois Juvenile Justice System: The Basics
- Exploring the Roots of Violence Initiative