Project: ‘Breaking Consent’

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Prentiss Haney of the Ohio Student Association presenting the organization’s mission statement at a Fellowship Program retreat (Columbus, 14 August 2015)

For the action-research project, Breaking Consent, Making Space for Racial and Economic Justice: The OSA Fellowship Program, I am collaborating with organizers for the Ohio Student Association (OSA), an organization that promotes youth-led movements for social justice.

Early in 2015, I collaborated with OSA staff organizers (Malaya Davis, James Hayes, Stuart McIntyre, Molly Shack) and two graduate students in geography who were founding members of OSA (Guillermo Bervejillo, then at University of British Columbia — now at Ohio State, and Meredith Krueger, then at University of Washington) to design an action-research methodology that lends momentum to OSA’s process of group-centered youth leadership formation. Inspired by current OSA Executive Director Prentiss Haney, we have since expanded and formalized our collaboration as a ‘Strategic Reflection’ team. Our focus on group-centered leadership formation challenges an enduring dichotomy in social movement theory and practice between hero-centered organizing and apparently leaderless or ‘spontaneous’ protest. This is the focus of our first research article from the project, which includes analysis from our work as part of the OSA Fellowship for Community Change.

Breaking Consent project received financial support in 2015 from the Institute for Human Geography. We have presented findings from this project at the Conference on Critical Geography and the Mini-Conference on Policing and Race. We are currently developing publications from the project.