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Cincinnati Project Symposium To Feature Keynote Address By Yvette Simpson

The Feb. 16 symposium will focus on the latest round of The Cincinnati Project's research and community partnerships serving Cincinnati neighborhoods and residents.

Date: 2/6/2018 11:00:00 AM
By: Stuart Lindle

UC ingot   Former Cincinnati City Council member Yvette Simpson will give the keynote speech at the fourth annual symposium of The Cincinnati Project.  The symposium spotlighting community research for equity and justice will be held Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati’s African American Cultural and Resource Center.

Simpson will also participate in a panel discussion with Karen Bankston, Jennifer Malat and Bianca Edwards on the value of an open relationship between institutions such as UC and organizations such as the AMOS Project and the Child Poverty Collaborative.
Photograph of Yvette Simpson.
Yvette Simpson


The two-term council member provides her unique perspective as a public figure invested in civil concerns. “We see her as an important community leader, interested in the shared goals of The Cincinnati Project and her own community engagement,” Malat said.

The symposium focuses on the latest round of TCP research and community partnerships. The work by faculty and students in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) directly serves local communities and nonprofit organizations.

When TCP launched five years ago, a team of researchers from the UC College of Arts and Sciences envisioned a collaboration extending beyond UC’s campus to advance social change.

Since then the organization has grown to include over 350 A&S faculty and students who, with more than 30 community organizations, are pursuing research projects vital to Cincinnati’s neighborhoods and residents.

A key portion of the symposium this year will be dedicated to a panel on power, partnerships, and progress, featuring campus and community representatives from TCP projects.

The Cincinnati Project begins with building trust, and to build trust they need quality relationships with community partners and organizers. This comes as from identifying needs of the community, and how the university can address them — not the other way around.

“It’s important that we think about the different power dynamics involved,” said TCP co-founder Malat, “in turn bettering our research.”

For example, 2017 marked the 15th anniversary of Cincinnati’s Collaborative Agreement — a historical effort to find solutions for issues in community-police relations. Community organizers Iris Roley and Al Gerhardstein came to TCP for assistance in designing a survey to evaluate the Collaborative Agreement’s effectiveness.

This survey, created with the help of a classroom-community research partnership led by Brian Calfano, assistant professor of political science, will help Roley and Gerhardstein provide vital feedback for Cincinnati’s policing efforts.

“Our goal is to flip the research dynamic on its head,” said Webb. “We’re finding out what the community needs directly.”

During the symposium, students such as Shaonta Allen — who worked with Dr. Calfano on the Collaborative Agreement survey — will share their experiences producing and presenting TCP research.

Following the student presentations with which the event begins, TCP faculty fellows will share their current research. Yvette Simpson’s keynote address will begin at 1:00 and will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Simpson, Bankston, Malat and Edwards. Each panelist will provide insight into the value of university-community research partnerships.

Ken Petren, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will provide closing remarks.

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