The Voice of the Canal

Located just outside of San Francisco, Marin County boasts the 5th highest income per capita in the country. But amongst the wealth sits an often overlooked, poverty-stricken section of Marin: the Canal. The Canal is home to workers — over seventy percent Hispanic — who hold low income jobs that support Marin’s more affluent population.

Canal residents create a survey
DataCenter leads a participatory workshop where Canal residents help create a survey to document the daily issues they face.

Dominican University and the Canal Alliance sought DataCenter’s support to help Canal residents organize their voice and articulate the needs and priorities of the Canal through a research method that works for them.

The project, appropriately named “The Voice of the Canal,” aims to build a movement within the Canal, to empower the residents to address the problems they know all too well.

One key role DataCenter plays in the project is ensuring that the Canal community not only participates in every step of the research, but actually leads the project themselves — effectively increasing the agency of the residents, equipping them with data and research findings to back up what they already know about issues in the community.

…now that’s what we call Research Justice!