Project D.C.: Urban Research Internship

February 1, 2001

The Project D.C. course is designed as a participatory research seminar. The central feature of the course is that each student will work in an internship under the supervision of Professor Sam Marullo or Professor Mark Rom. These internships are designed to further the goals of the Georgetown Community Outreach Partnership Center (GCOPC), a collaborative project involving the North Capital and Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights communities as well as Georgetown University. Each student will conduct an academic research project valuable to the GCOPC and the student·s intellectual and personal development.

Georgetown Community Outreach Partnership Center
The major objective of the GOPC is to help develop neighborhood-based strategic research, planning, and development capabilities among African-American and Latino people living in two inner city neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. In developing these strategic capabilities, GCOPC will address many important urban problems, specifically enhancing planning and community organization and reducing violence and crime among adolescents.

GCOPC Projects
1. Reducing Crime and Violence Among Adolescents: Professor Sam Marullo and Natalie Avery

1. Youth services directory: Work with city-wide organization, D.C. Agenda, to make information available to youth, parents, service providers, and the public regarding you community-based resources for youth. Explore opportunities to link Georgetown Community Outreach Partnership Center’s data center with city-wide effort. Engage young people from G.U. partner neighborhood in collecting and/or disseminating information. On-site fieldwork at the D.C. Agenda office and community youth program site. Project supervised by Sam Marullo.

2. Community-based “Safe Havens”: Work with community based organizations and young people in Northwest-1 and/or Mt. Pleasant to understand what constitutes safe havens, where and how they are identified, create informational resources for young people in the community, and disseminate these resources by working with community members (including youth). Employs participatory learning and action methods. Create web-based resource that can be updated and revised as needed by agencies and youth. On site fieldwork required at youth agencies in one or both neighborhoods and at various other locations in the community identified by your research. Project supervised by Sam Marullo.

3. Community consensus building: Work with community consensus-building project that seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive model of violence prevention and community development. Ethnographic study of how the process unfolds, the effectiveness of the training and dialogues, and challenges of implementation. The participant researcher will participate fully in the project as well as document its progress and interview participants. This project will take place in the North Capitol neighborhood and will work with staff from the North Capitol Collaborative, agency staff, and community residents. Researcher will work with Victor Robinson and Ralik Turner of the Youth Empowerment Services project and will be supervised by Sam Marullo.

4. Community mediation center: Work with community residents to establish a community-based mediation center. May entail research on “best practices” and alternative models, interviews with community members regarding their interests in participation in such a project, and program design and implementation. Researcher will work with Anita Bonds, community organizer of this project, Victor Robinson, YES project coordinator, and will be supervised by Sam Marullo.

5. Youth tracking and family service integration: Work with Perry Community Service Center in researching, developing, and implementing an integrated family and youth tracking and information system. This project is currently under development at the Perry School and will entail collaboration among the fourteen service agencies with programs at that location as well as other community-based organizations. Researcher will work with Perry staff and will be supervised by Sam Marullo

Four other projects will be lead by Natalie Avery:
Project 1: College Access – Barriers and Opportunities: Exploring college access and preparedness at Bell Multicultural High School
Project 2: Neighborhood Affordability — Exploring housing problems faced by low income residents of Columbia Heights
Project 3: Teen Parenthood — Exploring teen pregnancy prevention strategies and the forces that shape girls· choices around pregnancy and parenthood
Project 4: Educating schools and employers about domestic violence in the Latino community

Descriptions of these projects are attached.

2.Enhancing Neighborhood Planning and Community Organization: Professor Mark Rom
In this project students will work with Professor Rom to develop the Center for Technical Cooperation (CTC) and the Community Information Management Unit (CIMU). The CTC will support Latino and African-American efforts to develop and use information related to equity, health, and sustainable development in their communities. The CTC will bring together information on community conditions, activities, projects, and programs to facilitate cooperative efforts among all institutions (private, government, university, and international) providing some kind of service to Latin and African-America population in Washington, D.C. The CTC will thus help community members (who have been left out of the decision making process) articulate their voice. The CTC will sponsor several major activities, including

1) Training neighborhood residents, leaders and staff of community-based organizations in the processes of strategic research, planning and advocacy;
2) Training neighborhood residents, leaders and staff of community-based organizations to train others in the processes of strategic research, planning and advocacy
3) Establishing and implementing programs and activities that promote participatory-action research, community empowerment, outreach activities, and training programs, and;
4) Developing and maintaining a distributed data base about community affairs located in strategic sites and readily available to neighborhood residents.

The principal tasks of the students working on this project will be to collect and analyze data about the following subjects:
1) Current demographic, social-economic, epidemiological, health and social services data over all census tracts in Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights and in North Capitol,
2) Community-based organizations in the two neighborhoods including their organizational structure, staff, basic resources, services, constituents or client populations, and community awareness of their services and;
3) Projects between Georgetown University and community-based organizations in the two neighborhoods including their organization, staff, participants, programs, benefits and evaluation results.

We expect you to serve for approximately six hours per week in your internship, in addition to the time spent on class assignments. You should expect to spend at least half of the six hours working in the community.

Course Structure
Our coursework is divided into three parts. First we will learn about the concept “action research” and how to do it. Second, we will learn about the political and social environment of the District of Columbia. After that, we will have guest speakers on issues of special interest to the class. Finally, you will have the chance to present your work projects to the class.

Throughout the semester you will be expected to prepare for class by reading assigned material, writing case summaries, and discussing your peers’ work, among other projects. Each class will feature presentations, discussions, debates, brain storming and, perhaps, cookies.

Professor Sam Marullo
Phone: 687-3582
Office: St. Mary·s B-01

Professor Mark Rom
Phone: 687-7033
Office: 3600 N Street, NW Room 104

Ms. Natalie Avery
Phone: 276-7689.
Office: St. Mary·s

Work Projects

Action Research Paper: Your main class project will be to write an action research paper. We will give you guidance regarding structure, style, and content as we proceed; this paper may be used as your senior thesis for sociology majors. The papers can either focus on your particular work assignment or on broader social or political issues facing the District of Columbia or the relevant neighbors.
Thought Papers: You will write two other short papers focusing on the main themes of the assigned readings, applying these themes where appropriate to your individual work projects.
Readings: Each student is expected to buy Edward T. Stringer’s Action Research, Sage Publications, 2nd edition. You will be expected to read at least one book on the politics and policies of Washington, D.C. The professors will provide suggestions. Other readings will be distributed as we proceed.

Grades will be based on your research project, your presentations, your drafts, your class participation, etc.

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Date & Topic
January 19 Welcome! Introduction to Action Research
January 24 Meet the Neighborhoods: Guest Presentations by North Capital and Columbia Heights
January 26 Meet the Neighborhoods: Guest Presentations by North Capital and Columbia Heights
January 31 Action Research: Part 2
February 2 Community Work
February 7 Action Research: Part 3
February 9 Community Work
February 14 D.C. Politics: Part 1
February 16 Community Work
February 21 No class: Presidents· Day
February 23 D.C. Politics: Part 2
February 28 D.C. Politics: Part 3
March 1 Community Work
March 6 Spring Break
March 8 Spring Break
March 13 D.C. Politics: Part 5
March 15 Community Work
March 20 Guest Speaker
March 22 Community Work
March 27 Guest Speaker
March 29 Community Work
April 3 Guest Speaker
April 5 Community Work
April 10 Guest Speaker
April 12 Community Work
April 17 Student Presentations
April 19 Student Presentations
April 24 No Class: Easter Break
April 26 Student Presentations
May1 Student Presentations
May 3 Conclusions and Final Papers Due

School: Georgetown University
Professor: Sam Marullo, Ph.D.
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