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Community-Based Research: An Introductory Discussion

Professional Development Webinar 2023

This webinar is sponsored by the Canadian Sociological Association’s Student Concerns Subcommittee.

Community-based research projects have become increasingly important to sociologists, research funding agencies, and community stakeholders. While there are many frameworks for community-based research, each ultimately aims to disorient the relationship between researchers and stakeholders making them equal partners in research design, implementation, evaluation, and continuing action. Importantly, however, community-based research produces unique challenges that are not always observed in traditional research projects. Such challenges may include navigating institutional review boards, communicating and coordinating between multiple community partners, and collaboratively designing research-informed action. In this roundtable, students will hear from researchers engaged in community-based research projects about the challenges they faced and how they worked with community partners to address them.

Watch the recording

Moderator: J Overholser (they/them, ze/zir), University of Calgary


Negin Saheb Javaher (she/her), Langara College

Negin’s research explored the resettlement experiences of Iraqi and Syrian refuge families in Calgary, Canada. Her research centered on the agency and resiliency of refugee women as well as the role of women as service provider staff in the resettlement of refugee families. Negin is interested in the experiences of war-fled refugees and newcomers with displacement trauma and is passionate about gender studies.

After finishing her Master’s, she gained professional experience in the field of newcomer resettlement at AMSSA (the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC) where she has been working with various stakeholders to support settlement service provider organizations across BC (organizations that offer services to newcomers) and teaches Sociology at Langara College in Vancouver, BC.

Alicia Clifford (they/them), McMaster University

Alicia Clifford is a white settler Ph.D. Candidate at McMaster University who stands in solidarity with Indigenous women forced to manoeuvre Canada’s prison systems. Their research focuses on how the state targets Indigenous peoples via the criminal justice system to perpetuate settler colonial policies of assimilation. They work alongside the community using strengths and arts-based approaches to ensure Indigenous women’s perspectives become a force for change. Over the years, they have worked on several international grants alongside Indigenous scholars that focus on Indigenous peoples’ sovereignty and self-determination efforts in the areas of health, sport, research, and education. As a settler, they are responsible for moving beyond reconciliation and directly engaging in reconciliACTION by creating safe spaces that seek a diversity of Indigenous knowledges. In essence, they want their privilege to serve Indigenous Peoples targeted by the legal system because there is no justice system in Canada’s settler colonial state, only a legal one.

Pedrom Nasiri MStJ (they/them), University of Calgary

Pedrom Nasiri is a Joseph-Armand Bombardier doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, at the University of Calgary, working under the supervision of Dr. Pallavi Banerjee. Pedrom is also the 2020 student awardee of the SWS Student Action Initiative Award and the Canadian Sociological Association’s Angus Reid Award for social activism.

Their doctoral research employs critical phenomenology and intersectionality to examine how the increasing prevalence of polyqueer families articulate with ongoing racial, gender, and class formation projects. In addition to their doctoral work, Pedrom holds the position of Research Project Coordinator for a community-based research project, federally funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The project explores how the experiences and understandings of newcomer youth regarding race and racism transform during the re/settlement process, and how such experiences and understandings may disorient programming provided by re/settlement agencies toward anti-racist frameworks and an intersectional ethics of care. Pedrom completed their M.A. at the University of Toronto in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, where they explored the experiences of Queer Muslim refugees in the Canadian asylum apparatus.

Much of Pedrom’s work is guided by critical social theories that emphasize the need to employ academic theory and inquiry to address everyday social injustices. Pedrom has worked with various governmental and non-governmental agencies across Canada to address long-standing inequities in healthcare and social service systems. Pedrom has been recognized for this work by The Order of St. John, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, and the Governor-General of Canada.