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Evolving on Purpose: Results of a Qualitative Study to Explore how Public Youth Service Reform Advocates Apply Anti-Oppressive Practice Frameworks in a Collaborative Training and Action Process
Action Research (2012)
  • Laura Burney Nissen, Portland State University
  • Ann Curry-Stevens, Portland State University
Abstract
The anti-oppressive practice (AOP) framework focuses on structural inequity and power relations, employing liberatory methods toward social justice goals. This article reports on a national training initiative in AOP and an associated participatory action research project to determine the transformative impact of the training on staff, services and the system itself. The setting of this study is among service providers in youth justice and treatment services, where racial disparities are pronounced. The project involved both skills development and application of AOP in ways that would promote systems reform. Participants found the experience to be valuable, relevant and energizing, and skill sets in AOP were developed. The course requirement to develop site-based projects in participants’ local settings created changes in the ways services were delivered. Participants valued the creation of ‘safe spaces’ to discuss their experiences of racism and oppression in the various youth service systems. Transformative learning theory is utilized as a backdrop to the experience of interpreting participant reactions and learning experiences. Results suggest that AOP is a useful framework for organizing renewed efforts to reduce disparities in justice and other service delivery systems. Participant projects, an overview of implications for the field, and suggested future research are discussed.
Disciplines
Publication Date
December, 2012
Citation Information
Laura Burney Nissen and Ann Curry-Stevens. "Evolving on Purpose: Results of a Qualitative Study to Explore how Public Youth Service Reform Advocates Apply Anti-Oppressive Practice Frameworks in a Collaborative Training and Action Process" Action Research Vol. 10 Iss. 4 (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ann_curry-stevens/16/