Season 2
Episode 10

Peer Researchers: Let's get real (Part 2)

1:09:26
September 30, 2021

Working with peer researchers in HIV community-based research (CBR) is a complex undertaking. It requires self-reflection, empathy, and a commitment to GIPA/MIPA and social justice principles. The dynamics of the work are as ever-changing as frameworks that guide its principled practice; with no one-size-fits-all approach.

CBR and its approaches for engaging peer researchers draws out a diversity of opinions and perspectives. In this episode, host James Watson has a lively conversation with Lori A. Chambers and Zack Marshall, both accomplished social workers, social justice advocates and community-engaged researchers, about their experiences in working with peer researchers and engaging communities in research.

Our episode guests

Lori Ann Chambers

Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto

Lori Ann Chambers, Ph.D., is a social worker and researcher who uses storytelling methods to generate and share knowledge from communities living with or impacted by HIV. She has devoted her recent advocacy to telling the stories of women of African descent employed in HIV/AIDS service organizations (ASOs) to better assuring their self-care and mutual support. In collaboration with African, Caribbean and Black community advocates, she is co-leading Because She Cares, a performance narrative project that translates research exploring the ASO employment experiences of ACB women living with HIV into spoken word theatre and film.

5 Questions for Lori...

Gymnastics or track and field? Track and field

Truth or dare? Dare

Intelligent or funny? Funny

Passenger or driver? Passenger

Rich or successful? I will say successful, but how do you define success?

Zack Marshall

Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University

Zack Marshall is a community-based researcher and an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University. Building on a history of community work in the areas of HIV, harm reduction, and mental health, Zack's research explores interdisciplinary connections between public engagement, knowledge production and research ethics in queer and trans communities using digital methods. Current projects that address these themes are: Knowsy, an accessible online portal for LGBTQ2S+ knowledge synthesis including systematic reviews and scoping studies, and Shift, a project exploring labour practices in participatory research across the social sciences, natural sciences, and health.

5 Questions for Zack...

Gymnastics or track and field? Track and field

Truth or dare? Truth

Intelligent or funny? I don't know about that one—it feels ableist to say intelligent.

Passenger or driver? Driver

Rich or successful? It's so bad that my first reaction is, Oh no, don't say that...Successful? Neither?

Have we academicized or credentialized community-based research? Can researchers truly support communities’ leadership in research to create tangible and meaningful change? In this second episode of a two-part series on pozcast, we’re about to find out!

Host James Watson continues his exploration of the peer researcher role and the impact of engaging people living with HIV in research. If you haven't had the chance to listen to part one, we highly recommend a listen, as it features a frank conversation with two highly respected peer researchers, Tim and Lynne.

Engaging with Peer Researchers in CBR

Working with peer researchers in HIV community-based research (CBR) is a complex undertaking. It requires self-reflection, empathy, and a commitment to GIPA/MIPA and social justice principles. The dynamics of the work are as ever-changing as frameworks that guide its principled practice; with no one-size-fits-all approach.

In this episode, host James Watson has a lively conversation with Lori A. Chambers and Zack Marshall, both accomplished social workers, social justice advocates and community-engaged researchers, about their experiences in working with peer researchers and engaging communities in research. Revisiting our approach from Part 1, you’ll also get to hear the perspectives of another two Peer Researchers, Deborah and Valerie, who spark this conversation in a poignant and candid way.

Can CBR do harm?

Lori Chambers, a social worker and researcher who uses storytelling methods to generate and share knowledge from communities living with or impacted by HIV (such as with her co-led project, Because She Cares), gets the conversation going by making reference to the constant tension between experiential knowledge, academic knowledge, and the commodification and institutionalization of knowledge. Both of our episode guests point out just how problematic this can be for community-based work, which centers on the stories, skills, knowledge and experiences of those in community.

CBR should not be doing harm, but it often can do harm if we don't think about its practices and the institutions that construct those practices.

The conversation evolves to discuss what approaches are working well in community and how researchers and research teams can continue to improve upon these approaches to better serve peer researchers engaged in CBR work. Zack Marshall, a community-based researcher and an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University working on a number of community-based projects, including Knowsy and Shift, explains:

I think community-based research is really an apprenticeship-type of model for everyone involved, whether it's community members or academics. And so this apprenticeship way then means that we're learning how to do it, but we're also learning from each other. That way, we also are learning to hold each other accountable.

This episode, which wraps up a two-part series, is a great teaching tool for students, community workers, academics and those funding research projects to learn more about the practical and theoretical elements of working with peer researchers, and about what research approaches are creating tangible change in communities. Borrowing from Brené Brown, daring leadership is ultimately about serving our communities, not ourselves.

Please click here to review our social and commenting terms of use.

We love hearing from our listeners so drop us a line! Also let us know if you are interested being a guest on the Podcast. If you have any comments or questions or ideas for new episodes please email
james.pozcast@gmail.com

Never miss an episode,
subscribe and stay up to date
Subscribe

Stay up to date

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Stay in touch

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum