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Professor Baiocchi Receives Community Action Research Grant

Professor Baiocchi Receives Community Action Research Grant

The American Sociological Association's Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy has awarded a Community Action Research grant to Gianpaolo Baiocchi (sociology). The program's Community Action Research Initiative (CARI) encourages and supports sociologists to bring social science knowledge, methods and expertise to address community-identified issues and concerns. Each applicant proposed a project for pro bono work with a community organization or local public interest group. CARI provides up to $2,500 for each project to cover direct costs associated with doing community action research. Baiocchi was awarded funds to work with Aganju, one of the most active human rights organizations in the city of Salvador in northern Brazil. His "Engenho Velho" project will use geographic information systems (GIS) technology to map human rights violations in a predominately Afro-Brazilian neighborhood. With five students from the neighborhood, his research will involve community mapping through interviews with the community and focused discussion groups with identified stakeholders. "I'm bringing our UMass Amherst expertise in open-source software to an organization that works on human rights issues, mainly concerned with religious intolerance and racism," Baiocchi says. He also intends to produce a publication for human rights education in the neighborhood.