The Institute on Race and Justice (IRJ) utilizes an innovative community based, participatory research model. This innovative model is a research and advocacy partnership between Northeastern University faculty and members of the IRJ Community Advisory Board. The IRJ Community Advisory Board consists of eleven Community Practitioners whose leadership in the Boston area reflects a broad range of expertise.
The IRJ model works from another set of starting points and presumptions, where the goal of the research is to help communities achieve their own goals. This cannot be accomplished without the active, dynamic and two-way partnership between community members and researchers. In a participatory research model, both academics and community residents are “experts” with different areas of expertise. As a result, research conducted using this model is qualitatively different than research reports conducted using traditional researcher-subject methods.