Dr. Brittany Lewis is a well-respected community engaged qualitative scholar, thought leader, author, and national speaker known for bringing those most often locked out of local decision-making processes to the action research table for close to 10 years. Dr. Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Research in Action, an urban research, strategy, and engagement firm, and is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota. Formerly, Dr. Lewis was a Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Scholar in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor at Macalester College in Political Science and American Studies.
“Dr. Lewis is an invaluable member of so many communities in Minnesota. 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. 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 is the Principal Investigator of the Illusion of Choice: Evictions and Profit in North Minneapolis report and the Co-Principal Investigator on the recently published report entitled: The Diversity of Gentrification: Multiple Forms of Gentrification in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Dr. Lewis’s research was used in a Minnesota Supreme Court case to expand rights for tenants facing evictions, as direct testimony at the Minnesota State Legislature, and to inform the human services and public safety impact agenda within Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis. Dr. Lewis has consulted with philanthropic partners such as the Pohlad and Graves Foundation who refer directly to Dr. Lewis’s research as they develop their own scope of work and strategic plans of action.
Dr. Lewis serves on the Metropolitan Council Livable Communities Advisory Committee, the City of Minneapolis Housing Advisory Council, and the State of Minnesota Working Group on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters. Dr. Lewis is the author of a number of state and city reports, featured in a series of academic journals, and has been honored with a number of research fellowships and a best paper award. Dr. Lewis’s expertise has also been featured in documentaries such as the Jim Crow of the North (2019) and A Fiery Unrest: Why Plymouth Avenue Burned (2019).
“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