I believe that researchers have a great amount of power and equal responsibility to produce research that is grounded in the knowledge of people experiencing the topic of study. Creating equitable research requires a shift in researchers’ mentality on the values and practices of research, deep questioning of the status quo, and trust and respect for people who want to use research to change the systems they resist.
Lauren Farrell is a policy associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute and co-chair of the community-engaged methods users’ group. Her research focuses on community engagement and participatory methods. She works closely with young people, community leaders, and people at the intersections of racism, sexism, and ableism to ask what research can do for them. She holds herself accountable to the people who are most impacted by research and believes expertise comes from lived experience.
Before joining Urban, she worked with incarcerated people in California and Texas through the Innocence Network. Farrell received her bachelor’s degree in public policy from the Gerald R. Ford School at the University of Michigan, where she researched Title IX and sexual assault on campus.