Collaborative research and multi-issue movement building for educational justice: Reflections on the Urban Research Based Action Network (URBAN)


  • Mark R. Warren University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Ronald David Glass University of California, Santa Cruz



action research, collaborative research, educational justice


Two long-time scholar-activists reflect on a distinctive approach to research that they call collaborative research for justice, research that is conducted with community leaders and education activists to advance equity and social justice. They argue that by linking research directly with action this kind of research has the power to speak directly to the current crises not only in education, but also in the other institutions of civil society. Drawing on decades of experience in public research universities, local community based organizations, inter/national disciplinary research organizations, and distributed informal networks of engaged scholars, social justice activists, and community leaders, they reflect specifically on the more recent formation of the Urban Research Based Action Network (URBAN), a national network of people enacting a variety of forms of collaborative research for justice, now with more than 1500 members. They outline lessons that might contribute to building the multi-issue movement for educational justice that they believe is required to transform public schools to make them serve the needs of the most disadvantaged, aggrieved, and inequitably treated communities. In its short history URBAN has already impacted the academy through the gatherings and meetings it has hosted as well as through a rigorous publishing agenda, including a special issue of EPAA in which this article appears. 


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Author Biographies

Mark R. Warren, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Mark R. Warren is professor of public policy and public affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the author most recently of Lift us up Don't push us out! Voices from the front lines of the educational justice movement (Beacon Press, 2018).

Ronald David Glass, University of California, Santa Cruz

Ronald David Glass is Professor of Philosophy of Education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, and Director of the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California (CCREC). His recent work focuses on the ethics of research, and the foundations of his philosophy have investigated ideological (trans)formation, education as a practice of freedom, and the role engaged research and public learning processes in struggles for justice.




How to Cite

Warren, M. R., & Glass, R. D. (2019). Collaborative research and multi-issue movement building for educational justice: Reflections on the Urban Research Based Action Network (URBAN). Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27, 53.



Research For Justice