The Social Justice Implications for Community Engaged Research: Whose Research Agenda? and My Relationship with the Community


  • N. Eugene Walls University of Denver


social justice, community engaged research, research agenda, LGBTQ youth


The 2010 winner of the Ernest A. Lynton Award examines two social justice themes that have emerged in his community-engaged work. He argues that the traditional model of the development of the scholars' research agenda is one that can promote and maintain the academy-community hierarchy and that the scholars' social identities play an important role in the research enterprise. He concludes by illustrating how these two issues played out in one particular research study.

Author Biography

N. Eugene Walls, University of Denver

N. Eugene Walls is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. His community-engaged work focuses on issues in marginalized communities-particular those experienced by LGBTQ youth and members of the transgender community.


Allen, Mary A., Thomas S. Liang, Thomas LaSalvia, Brian Tjugum, Robert J. Gulakowski, and Matthew Murguia. 2005. "Assessing the Attitudes, Knowledge, and Awareness of HIV Vaccine Research among Adults in the United States." Journal of

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 40: 617-624.

Amuwo, Shaffdeen A. and Earnest Jenkins. 2001. "True Partnership Evolves Over Time." In Collaborative Research: University and Community Partnership, edited by Myrtis Sullivan and James G. Kelly, 25-44. Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association.

Betz, Frederick. 2011. "Objectivity in Social Sciences." In Frederick Betz, Managing Science: Methodology and Organization of Research. New York: Springer: 191-213.

Cashman, Suzanne. B., Sarah Adeky, Alex. J. Allen, Jason Corburn, Barbara. A. Israel, Jaime Montano, Alvin Rafelito, Scott D. Rhodes, Samara Swanston, Nina Wallerstein, and Eugenia Eng. 2008a. "The Power and the Promise: Working with Communities to

Analyze Data, Interpret Findings, and Get to Outcomes." American Journal of Public Health 98: 1407-1417.

Cashman, Suzanne B., Sarah Adeky, Alex J. Allen, Jason Corburn, Barbara A. Israel, Jaime. Montano, Scott Rhodes, Samara Swanston, and Eugenia Eng. 2008b. "Analyzing and Interpreting Data with Communities." In Community-based

Participatory Research for Health, edited by Meredith Minkler and Nina Wallerstein, 285-301. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Corbie-Smith, Giselle, Stephen B. Thomas, and Diane M. M. St. George. 2002. "Distrust, Race, and Research." Archives of Internal Medicine 162: 2458-2463.

Dreger, Alice D. 2008. "The Controversy Surround The Man Who Would Be Queen: A Case History of the Politics of Science, Identity, and Sex in the Internet Age." Archives of Sexual Behavior 37: 366-421.

Harding, Sandra. 1993. "Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: What Is Strong Objectivity?" In Feminist Epistemologies, edited by Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter, 49-82. New York: Routledge.

Lincoln, Yvonna S. and Egon G. Guba. 1985. Naturalistic Inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

New, Caroline. 1998. "Realism, Deconstruction and the Feminist Standpoint." Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior 18: 349-372.

Reedy, Justin, and Madhavi Murty. 2009. "Mentor Memo: Creating a Research Agenda." Inside Higher Education, 20 May, electronic edition.

Sengupta, Sohini, Ronald P. Strauss, Robert DeVellis, Sandra C. Quinn, Brenda DeVellis, and William B. Ware. 2000. "Factors Affecting African-American Participation in AIDS Research." Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 24: 275-285.

Suarez-Balcazar, Yolanda, Gary W. Harper, and Rhonda Lewis. 2005. "An Interactive and Contextual Model of Community-University Collaborations for Research and Action." Health, Education, and Behavior 32: 84-101.

Thomas, Stephen B. 2000. "The Legacy of Tuskegee: AIDS and African-Americans." Body Positive (January/February).

Walls, Nelson E., Julie Laser, Sarah J. Nickels, and Hope Wisneski. 2010. "Correlates of Cutting Behavior among Sexual Minority Youth and Young Adults." Social Work Research 34: 213-226