The Knowledge Equity Lab will be an opportunity to ground synergistic movements in a more structured, intentional, and collaborative way. Housed in the Centre for Critical Development Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, community partners, activists, and knowledge makers and holders will be supported with institutional resources including meeting space, materials, and research training via partnerships with faculty and students from the University of Toronto. In addition to being a space for knowledge co-creation and circulation, the lab will act as a hub for values associated with knowledge equity and inclusion. Faculty will have the opportunity to engage outside of academia, challenging the incentive structures which only legitimate knowledge packaged in the standard of academic papers and journals. Students will have the opportunity to participate in critical, pedagogical exercises that challenge the ‘banking model of education’ — the notion that students are empty containers for knowledge, but rather active co-producers whose efforts lead to actionable, tangible social change. This is particularly fitting for students of Critical Development Studies, who are trained to analyze power relations to redress issues of social, environmental, economic and epistemic injustice.
Several movements locally and globally already exist which forward these aims, such as
- those advocating for openness, (including open access, open pedagogy, open-source, open internet, and open science);
- movements towards decolonization (including decolonization of knowledge, of the internet, of curriculum, and amplification of indigenous and traditional knowledge); as well as
- efforts to promote alternative methodologies and modalities of research (including community-based research, participatory approaches, feminist research methods, and more)
Proposed lab activities
Preliminary lab activities may include workshops, research training sessions, hosted discussions, seminars, exhibitions, demonstrations, and more.
Research training sessions will enhance student and community partners’ knowledge of various research and knowledge production methods. This may be taught collaboratively by students, faculty/researchers, and/or community partners. Sessions may include, but are not limited to workshops on:
Arts-based research methods
R programming language
Community-based, participatory research methods
Digital research tools
Hosted discussions where an inclusive space can be provided on a regular basis for students, community members and faculty to discuss a broad range of issues pertaining to knowledge co-production and knowledge equity.