“Brittany’s work exemplifies the ways we should put grounded, ethical theory into action.” 

Dr. Catherine Squires, Author of Post-Racial Mystique & Professor of Journalism, Diversity, and Equality at the University of Minnesota

Dr. Brittany Lewis manifest the best of what it means to be a scholar-practitioner.  Her work on the politics of housing and race in the Twin Cities is not only extraordinary in its analysis, her approach is both sincere and authentic.”

Dr. Keith Mayes, Professor of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

About Research in Action

Founded by Dr. Brittany Lewis in 2019,  Research in Action is an urban research, strategy, and engagement firm. Research in Action is committed to using human centered design to move from equity based language to equity based actions. 

Urban Research: Woke Research is Equitable Research  

Dr. Brittany Lewis employs an actionable research model that uses a mixed methodological research approach to: (1) build community power, (2) assist local grassroots campaigns and local power brokers in reframing the dominant narrative, and (3) produce community-centered public policy solutions that are winnable. This model relies heavily on the development of reciprocal relationships across sectors that embrace an open process where the collective develops shared understanding for the purpose of creating social transformation. 

Urban Strategy: A Tangible Racial Equity Framework 

This actionable research model embraces a racial equity framework that asserts that we must: (1) look for solutions that address systemic inequities, (2) work collaboratively with affected communities, and (3) add solutions that are commensurate with the cause of inequity. Dr. Lewis works collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders, especially those most impacted, to build a table where we can collaboratively analyze what existing data tells us, explore the gaps in that data, and develop a shared sense of purpose as we co-define the main research question(s) and the design of the data collection instrument. This collaborative ethic persists throughout the duration of the partnership as we collaboratively analyze data, connect grassroots organizing to its findings, and make strategic inroads with policymakers and practitioners to connect influencers who can begin to implement the work. 

Urban Engagement: The Co-Creation of Knowledge and Action  

Dr. Lewis’s research-in-action framework has three phases: building relationships and developing shared meaning, data collection and collective interventions, and collaborative data analysis and community centered public policy articulation. Phase I, requires that Dr. Lewis work to build an advisory council of those directly impacted, community organizers, community-based staff, county workers , and policymakers. The purpose of phase one is to develop trust and intention between collaborators and the youth most impacted while we collaboratively analyze what existing data tells us, explore the gaps in that data, and develop a shared sense of purpose as the advisory council defines the main research question and designs the data collection instrument together. Phase II, as the research design is being executed by Dr. Lewis and her team the council will convene quarterly to receive and discuss updates on project progress and importantly, make meaning of what is being learned collectively. These quarterly updates are an opportunity for this phase to be responsive to what is being learned and iterative. This is a chance for all stakeholders to begin to identify areas in policy and practice that need to change or start the process of appealing to those power brokers most directly influencing that process before findings are released. Phase III, collaborative data analysis, reporting, and community centered policy making is a time of writing and reflection as Dr. Lewis and her team share their analysis, gleam perspectives from the council and prepares drafts of the final written report. During this time, Dr. Lewis and her team will make strategic inroads with policymakers and practitioners to share data, make recommendations and connect actors who can begin the work of implementing change.