Article published in Social Sciences on the Co-Education/Co-Research (CORE) Partnership

We have published another article on the Co-Education/Co-Research Partnership (CORE). It appears in the journal Social Sciences and is titled: Co-Education/Co-Research Partnership: A Critical Approach to Co-Learning between Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and Tufts University. It was co-authored by Penn Loh and former Tufts UEP students Zoë Ackerman, Joceline Fidalgo (also a former DSNI staff), and Becca Tumposky. We are excited to share more of our collective experience in this community-university partnership to co-learn and co-produce knowledge and action. This piece is the result of our partnership work for more than seven years.

Published online February 14, 2022, the article is available open access online: The abstract is reprinted below.

We thank all of the community partners who have participated in CORE, especially the staff at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. We also express our gratitude to Tufts, especially UEP and the Tisch College for Civic Life for long-term support to develop, implement, and assess CORE.

Figure 1. CORE Partnership and Key Projects.


Community–university partnerships that purport to promote the public good are often fraught with institutional and cultural challenges that can contribute to the injustices they seek to address. This paper describes how one partnership has been navigating these tensions through a critical approach to power. The Co-Education/Co-Research (CORE) partnership has been built over the last decade between Tufts University and Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, a community organizing and planning group in Boston. We have been co-producing knowledge and action to further community control over development, and we have found that institutional shifts, such as co-governance and the equitable sharing of funding, are leading to longer term impacts for the community partner and breaking down the boundaries between university and community. However, using a relational view of power, we have also found that some of our everyday practices can subtly maintain and reinforce inequities, such as valuing academic knowledge over that of community residents and practitioners. Addressing these cultural and ideological challenges requires critical and reflexive practice. It is messy relational work that requires a lot of communication and trust and, most of all, time and long-term commitment.

Published by


Distinguished Senior Lecturer and Director of Master of Public Policy and Community Practice, Tufts University Department of Urban & Environmental Policy and Planning

Leave a Reply