Listening Project to learn from 80 years of Charlotte Social Justice Organizing: wins, losses and learning

The Listening Project is a two year community-based participatory research initiative. You are invited to join as a researcher.

What is Community-Based Research?

"Community-based Research (CBR) takes place in community settings and involves community members in the design and implementation of research projects, demonstrates respect for the contributions of success that are made by community partners, as well as respect for the principle of "doing no harm" to the communities involved.

In order to achieve these goals, the following principles should guide the development of research projects involving collaboration between the researchers and community partners, whether the community partners are formally structured community-based organizations or informal groups of individual community members.

Principles of Community-Based Research:

  • CBR is a collaborative enterprise between researchers (professors and/or students) and community members. It engages university faculty, students and staff with diverse partners and community members.
  • CBR validates multiple sources of knowledge and promotes the use of multiple methods of discovery and of dissemination of the knowledge produced.
  • CBR has as its goal: to achieve social justice through social action and social change.
  • In most forms, CBR is also participative (among other reasons, change is usually easier to achieve when those affected by the change are involved) and it's qualitative.

Research Question

How has the last 80 years of social justice organizing in Charlotte shaped social change and community organizing in Charlotte today?


Educational Offerings

"History is written by the victors," a saying often attributed to Winston Churchill, speaks to something social movements struggle with. Shaping the narratives of social justice wins and losses can be a struggle for communities struggling to access the dominant means of storytelling in their context. In addition to shaping the narratives, communities often struggle to retain and transmit the wisdom and lessons learned from social justice organizing. A major lesson for a generation of organizers is not always relayed to a subsequent generation of organizers. The lack of formal structure and training in social movements tends to allow for gaps in collective knowledge. Informal movement building or Peoples' History Projects are ways of collecting the lessons learned by organizers over the years and to tell the untold stories of organizing.


1- Online Survey
2- Recorded Interviews


To become a researcher or to share your experiences with social justice and community organizing in Charlotte, contact Holly Knight Roach,
Images sourced from by Leslie Cross and Vladimir Soares