“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.  Mixing scholarly fact-finding and objectivity with an ethics of love for the black community allows Dr. Lewis to speak truth to power. One can only find this from intellectuals who have deep roots in the community they choose to study.”

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

“Dr. Lewis is an invaluable member of so many communities in Minnesota. The basis for her evictions study in relationship with Black women in Minneapolis provides a powerful model for other sociologists and ethnographers to follow. Her works sits directly in the tradition of foundational Black scholar/activists like Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. Du Bois. Dr. Lewis is a relentless advocate for those facing the most precarious circumstances. Her ability to move from boardrooms to courtrooms to classrooms to community forums with elegance and fire is unparalleled. She has the unique ability to make complex problems and solutions accessible to a wide audience. Not only is she is one of Minnesota’s most brilliant thinkers, she is directly impacting the policies that shape our lives.”

–Dr. Brian Lozenski, Professor of Urban and Multicultural Education at Macalester College

“Dr. Lewis tenacious, grounded, powerful approach to her work is deliberate and infectious. She is asking questions that many others in the field are not asking, using approaches that get deeper than traditional approach get, and engaging with communities in ways that people often do not know how to do. She brings a unique ability to blend and merge multiple sources of knowledge into high quality, evidence based, applied research. Her community engaged research brings to the table data that is not readily available in important discussions in our region, including most recently on gentrification and evictions. Dr. Lewis research in these areas has helped to advance stronger analysis and understanding on these issues across multiple, diverse stakeholders. The value and impact of her research can be seen in the work of community organizers, philanthropy and government. As a writer, teacher and speaker, Dr. Lewis engages her audience in the complexity of her work in a way that makes the data accessible to a wide variety of people. Her comfortability connecting with people across a diverse spectrum of experiences and understanding allows her to communicate with great effectiveness.”

–Neeraj Mehta, Director of Learning at the McKnight Foundation

“Dr. Lewis has gone a step further and brought the University in the community.  She takes what she has learned through research and reports it back to the community by engaging in conversation with community and by being accessible.  Her approach validates communities lived experiences and her communication style translates from academia speak to everyday speak so that those hearing what she is saying understands it and can actively engage in the dialogue. I cannot put a true value on the work that Dr. Lewis has presented to the community. It often feels like a fresh breath of air, that for the first time in a long time someone representing a research institution is affirming a lived experience by black women, that is usually dismissed.  I would liken it to someone misdiagnosing you having cancer and saying that the lump you have is because you keep bumping your head. Then someone else comes in and says actually you have brain cancer and we have some things we can do to heal the problem.  We have been experiencing centuries of misdiagnosis. Now we can get to real solutions.”

— Shannon Smith Jones, Executive Director of Hope Community, Inc., 

“Dr. Lewis has been a vital asset to field of affordable and fair housing work in the Twin Cities region and to community more broadly. As a community organizer, I sometime find academic research can be very detached from, and sometimes even at odds with, the perspectives and narratives of community who experience the issues being studied first hand. Dr. Lewis’ community engaged action research approach centers people and communities most impacted by issues, treating them as experts in the research process and as partners in the work rather than subjects to be studied. This approach builds in accountability to community members involved and challenges the dynamics of race, class, gender, and educational privileges that too often are ignored in academia. Her work on CURA’s gentrification report has given the advocates and organizers who are part of our Equity in Place coalition, a powerful tool to demonstrate and discuss the real impacts of gentrification pressures on our communities.” 

–Owen Duckworth, Director of Organizing and Policy at the Alliance Twin Cities 

“Dr. Lewis has been an inspiration and guiding force to a number of our strategic initiatives. Her approach combines research with action-oriented solutions identified by those closest to the issue. She skillfully combines data with community engagement, grounding that data in experience and making meaning that leads to community-led priorities and impact. Hers is not the proverbial “research that sits on a shelf,” as it is owned by and lives in community.”     

–Susan Bass-Roberts, Vice President, Executive Director of the Pohlad Foundation 

“As a result of Dr. Lewis’ efforts ranging from community-based research to local and state public policy advocacy on housing issues, our region is seeing increased investments from philanthropy and government toward eviction prevention, and renewed interest in substantial policy reforms. We also relied on Dr. Lewis’s expertise and community-centered approach to supplement our advocacy at the state legislature during testimony for improved, tenant-friendly statewide eviction expungement laws–she successfully brought a unique community perspective to the Capitol that is all too often silenced and discounted within those venues.” 

–Eric Hauge, Executive Director of HOME Line

”As Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council, I have been impressed with Dr. Lewis’ commitment to involving community in research and application around complex issues related to livability and affordability in low-income communities. Her academic rigor along side her ability to connect with community members in authentic ways are skills not readily accessible to many researchers in the field. Her work on evictions in North Minneapolis has proven an invaluable asset as the City of Minneapolis tries to address this pernicious issue.”

–Andrea Jenkins, Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council

“Dr. Lewis has added an essential dynamic to research into the study of housing displacement on the northside of Minneapolis.  Data doesn’t tell the full story. Numbers cannot replace real lived experiences. Dr. Lewis helps people tell their stories, and then helps those stories drive and guide real policy change.”

–Luke Gunderman, Attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid 

Dr. Brittany Lewis is a Minnesota treasure. Her scholarship is literally changing the fabric of Minnesota, in a time where we desperately need it. Dr. Lewis research reports continue to impact my work as the President of the Minneapolis NAACP and as a Policy Research Associate at the Minnesota Attorney General Office. Everyone can learn and benefit from her community focused approach to research, writing, and public speaking. 

–Leslie Redmond, President of the Minneapolis NAACP

Dr. Brittany M. Lewis is a moving force for transformative action. She works to uncover,  publish and interpret data and information to empower youth, women and people of color to solve community concerns together, and with public and private institutions and systems. Dr. Lewis uses her skills of inquiry-based research, reporting and synthesis to drive beyond visible symptoms toward  root causes of poor outcomes and disparities for Minnesota’s youth, women and communities of color. Through her research and reporting Dr. Lewis fosters individual and group education and civic participation. With relevant and compelling information Dr. Lewis motivates individual, community, and systems action for physical, mental/emotional and economic health and wellbeing. Dr. Lewis’ body of work create platforms upon which people can build capacities for working together to solve intransigent and stubborn problems of our society today, making way for an equitable society that works for all.

— Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter 

Dr. Brittany Lewis proves that one can be both a brilliant public intellectual and deeply grounded in community. She uses all that is available to her to ensure that Black Women’s rights to thrive is not simply a private matter but a public mandate. I feel better about the world knowing she is a fierce leader in it. 

–Dr. Joi Lewis, Joi Unlimited, Coaching and Consulting Founder

“When I think of Dr. Brittany Lewis’ research I think of the power and relevance of the Kerner Commission Report. The Kerner Commission Report was written after mounting civil unrest in our nation’s urban centers resulted in rioting. The report asked why this was happening? Unlike any other government funded report before it, the Kerner Commission report gave those communities most impacted by segregation, unemployment, police violence, and racial discrimination a chance to inform its findings, which led to policy recommendations that were ignored by our federal government because it implicated them as a part of the problem and called for reparative solutions. Subsequent rioting and growing urban poverty then and now shows us that we need to invest in the types of engaged research that fueled the creation of the Kerner Commission Report. Dr. Brittany Lewis is our regions most exemplary example of what creating equity based action research products look like for systems change. I just hope that in our region we do not make the same mistake our federal government did then and not implement these innovative recommendations made by scholars like Dr. Lewis further exacerbating the problem.”

–Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

“We are attorneys with Dorsey & Whitney LLP and had the pleasure of working with Dr. Brittany Lewis in the landmark decision for landlord-tenant law,Cent. Hous. Assocs., LP v. Olson, No. A17-1286, 2019 Minn. LEXIS 314 (June 12, 2019).  Courts rarely create common law and has not done so in landlord-tenant law for a long time.  In many cases, a landlord will evict a tenant for requesting repairs and, in some, even for declining sexual advances.  In Olson, the court held that a tenant has a retaliatory eviction defense from an unlawful detainer action under the common law.  Dr. Lewis’s research showed the court the need to protect tenants from retaliatory eviction from unscrupulous landlords.  Her work specifically helped Mr. Olson keep his housing and potentially many others in our community.”

— Tien Cai and Larry McDonough, Associates at Dorsey & Whitney LLP

“Dr. Brittany Lewis brings an approach to research that reflects the academic with the real world lived experience. This approach “engaged action research” is particularly effective with marginalized communities and youth that are often “researched” but not included as researchers and designers of their own solutions to their lived experiences. I have observed Dr. Brittany bring her passion, intellect and ability to empower people to use research and knowledge to impact policies that benefit their communities and quality of life.  She was instrumental in bringing the Minnesota Trust Black Women & Girls Town Hall in partnership with the African American Policy Forum to Minnesota. This was a platform that challenged institutions to listen and change their practices in housing, mental health, criminal justice and education to bring positive impact on the lives of Black women and girls. Dr. Lewis is an effective and impactful researcher and activist. “

— Stella Whitney-West, CEO of NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center