For years, we’ve worked to reposition research as an essential tool for ground-up organizing for social change. Now, we’re turning the workshops and training materials we’ve developed along the way into free and accessible toolkits. The result is a set of tools that we use in our deep partnerships with organizing communities. With these tools, organizing efforts will be stronger, more strategic, and better poised to make the change they want to see. We’re all experts, and with the right tools, we can leverage our expertise to create lasting social change.
Campaign Research Toolkit
The Campaign Research Toolkit is the newest addition to our robust collection of toolkits that leverage the powerful combination of research and organizing. The Campaign Research Toolkit is a how-to guide for grassroots organizations conducting community-driven campaign research. It’s the product of over ten years of experience working with grassroots organizations to develop strategic and effective campaigns for change. The toolkit contains user-friendly activities, worksheets, and case-study discussions that demystify the process of campaign research for organizations and their membership.
“In all the organizing campaigns that I have worked on, research has always been one of the essential tools for developing strategy. The DataCenter’s Campaign Research Toolkit is so great because it demonstrates the importance of research for social justice organizing and makes research an action that anyone can take part in.”
— Joann Lo, Co-director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance
Our Voices, Our Land Toolkit
Our Voices, Our Land: A Guide to Community Based Strategies for Mapping Indigenous Stories is a toolkit that assists native and tribal communities in using storytelling and mapping for cultural preservation. Many native and tribal communities across the US constantly struggle to protect their land, cultural resources, and sacred sites against development and resource extraction. Our Voices, Our Land features guides on how to gather stories and combine them with digitally mapped locations of community assets. It details research planning processes, how to conduct interviews, and how to create maps using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS).
“The concepts of research and organizing are extremely powerful. It’s thrilling to have a series of free tools that are dedicated to supporting social transformation.”
—Anonymous Toolkit User
Introduction to Research Justice Toolkit
Every expert deserves the right tools for the job. Too often, community experts lack the right tools to leverage the knowledge they have. For grassroots communities committed to honing their expertise and developing informed strategies to win, retooling research is a critical first step. In 2013, DataCenter released its free toolkit An Introduction to Research Justice which places knowledge and information creation tools into the hands of the communities that need them most.
“DataCenter introduced us to concrete tools for engaging community residents and organizations directly with data. [Their] workshops not only gave us valuable insight into the nuanced meanings of our data, but they also connected residents and community organizations directly to information that would support and inform their own organizing and action planning for transit justice.”
—Zoe Levitt, Alameda County Public Health Department
We hope you, your organization, and/or your community use these toolkits to conduct community-driven research and building a strong, organized, and mobilized support base to achieve the change you want to see.