Public Science Project (PSP)

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The Public Science Project (PSP) grew out of more than a decade's worth of participatory action research (PAR) at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). First organized as The PAR Collective, PSP researchers began their work as a coalition of activists, researchers, youth, elders, lawyers, prisoners, and educators, launching projects on educational injustice, lives under surveillance, and the collateral damage of mass incarceration. Most of these projects have been situated in schools and/or community-based organizations struggling for quality education, economic opportunities, and human rights. Knowledge-sharing research camps set the stage for most of this work, designed to bring together differently positioned people around a common table to design and implement the research: youth and educators; young people who have been pushed out of schools and mothers organizing for quality education in communities under siege; prisoners, organizers, and academics. Most projects have vibrant advisory boards of youth, community elders, educators and/or activists to shape the work and hold us accountable to the needs and desires of local communities.

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PSP's projects in recent years have included: What's Your Issue? a national survey of LGBT youth, sponsored by a consortium of funders led by Borealis Philanthropy; the Morris Justice Project, a community-based research project focused on the neighborhood-level effects of the NY Police Department's "stop and frisk" policy; a multi-year project, funded by the Ford Foundation, on increasing youth participation in policy making, particularly at the city and state level; and several projects in partnership with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Health. PSP has also participated in Moving the Dial on Inequity Challenges, a CHE project focused on strategies for bringing members of underrepresented groups into higher education, which is supported by a multi-year subaward from a US Dept. of Education "First in the World" grant to the University of Minnesota.

In 2020, Borealis Philanthropy awarded PSP funding for Testimonios of Family Separation, a ;participatory project to document the effects of current US immigration policies that result in separation of family members. Also in 2020, Prof. Brett Stoudt was awarded a grant from Trinity Wall Street to create a community survey of alternatives to current policing practices in NYC.

An interview with Prof. Michelle Fine on PSP's work was posted on the Graduate Center website July 1, 2020: Michelle Fine Interview


Michelle Fine

Distinguished Professor, Urban Education; Distinguished Professor, Psychology; Distinguished Professor, Liberal Studies; Distinguished Professor, Women's and Gender Studies; Distinguished Professor, American Studies