Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-30-2009

Journal / Book Title

Journal of African American Studies


Often, African American community organizations are distanced from government institutional practices. In response, they may approach local academics to help bridge the divide. This think piece explores lessons that one academic scholar learned during the process of writing and distributing an applied report that ultimately helped a community organization to gain access to the governmental decision-making process. In exploring the project, we first focus on the process and value of shifting from a charity orientation to a social justice orientation. Second, we use the report itself to provide examples of essential, concrete aspects of social justice-oriented products. In the end, we argue that academic scholars can contribute to community empowerment if (1) an asset rather than deficit orientation is employed and (2) scholars are viewed as community assets rather than institutional resources.


DOI: 10.1007/s12111-009-9108-3

Published Citation

Leech, Tamara GJ, and Edrose Potts. "Community empowerment through an academic product: Implications for the social-justice-oriented scholar." Journal of African American Studies 14, no. 1 (2010): 75-86. Harvard