[Black] Teachers Resisting Damaged-Centered Research: Community Listening Exchanges as a Reciprocal Research Tool in a Gentrifying City

Thais Council, Shaeroya Earls, Shakale George, Rebecca Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Gentrification impacts many cities across the nation. Affordable housing task forces and legislation meant to address housing inequities are becoming more common, yet the authentic experiences of those affected are often unacknowledged. Absent from the discussion of gentrification are the voices of those deeply impacted, some who are at the center of the work to maintain communities: Black teachers, Black students, and Black families. In many school districts, teachers do not have the opportunity to address the systemic issues that impact their students and communities. Still, it is impossible to ignore the ways societal injustice seeps into the classroom. This article discusses our work as a teacher participatory action research collective exploring the intersection of housing and educational displacement in a rapidly gentrifying community in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia. We highlight our roles as community-centered educators and detail how we intentionally and thought-fully worked to create a reciprocal space to engage communities in Community Listening Exchanges. We present Community Listening Exchanges as a justice-centered innovation to community-engaged research and scholarship. Our critical and collaborative approach to generating and analyzing data allowed us to uncover how housing and educational displacement relies on deficit narratives to justify the removal of marginalized people. We offer CLEs as a reciprocal research tool that deviates from traditional qualitative research and resists anti-Black, damage-centered narratives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Joyce Elaine King, Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair of Urban Teaching, Learning, and Leadership and Professor of Educational Policy Studies in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University, for her tireless support of our study and her unwavering commitment to Black communities and families across the diaspora.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Community listening exchanges
  • Disrupting damage-centered narratives
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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