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About Us

Our mission: To end intimate partner abuse and violence by contributing to research that helps reach those who act abusively. We are unapologetically and especially committed to work that helps Black/African-American and Latino men end violence/abuse in their romantic relationships.

Research Lab* Code of Operation

How do we function and aim to function in this lab? The purpose of this statement is to outline how core members of the research group intend to operate in our work together. It serves as a primer for new members and as a reminder of standards for founding/active members

  1. Question 1: What is most important and primary before anything else (including the work in this lab)?
    • Answer 1: Our individual health and wellness: mental, physical, spiritual. This comes first - period.
  2. Question 2: What are the values we strive to uphold?
    • Answer 2: Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, Respect 


Things that are important for us to do:

  1. Be intentional about constantly engaging in self-reflection to examine ourselves for manifestations of oppression, ethnocentrism, violence and abuse 
  2. To embrace that we are not free of prejudice and we are vulnerable to perpetuating white supremacy and other forms of oppression
  3. Be honest with ourselves about which areas we fail in espousing justice and which areas we meaningfully contribute to advancing social justice.

We believe:

  1. In order to challenge oppression in the world, we must always be willing to examine how it manifests within ourselves, our own institutions, our own families, and within the social work profession.
  2. Each member of our team is equally valuable to the advancement of our common goals in their contribution, roles, and ideas.
  3. Years of formal education alone does not qualify one to practice social work.
  4. “Self-reflection and self-discovery are lifelong journeys” –Dr. LaShawnda Fields
  5. The pursuit of knowledge and learning is a lifelong endeavor and we acknowledge that the classroom is not bounded, rather opportunities for growth and further understanding are all around us.
  6. Conducting research on marginalized groups does not make us an “ally”, rather we strive to be “co-conspirators” to the groups in which we do not belong. We aim towards this goal in the persistent and uncomfortable critique of our own actions, thoughts, behaviors, and desires and we do not need a title in which to classify ourselves for doing so.

We commit to: 

  1. When the time arrives that we have faltered in upholding our beliefs and things that are important to us, we speak about it with other team members to rid ourselves of shame and  walk in truth, acknowledging the possibility of hurt towards others, and to remain accountable to one another.
  2. Cultivate an environment which challenges us to release immediate defensiveness when a colleague or friend offers reflections on our own behavior.   
  3. Dare to push the boundaries; if it is indeed meaningful–study what is unusual to study.

What is popular does not always equal what is just. Dare to be authentic, bold, and unorthodox.

-Dr. Maxine Davis

This code of operation was developed by drawing on the intellectual contributions of bell hooks, Patricia Hill-Collins, Cornel West, Kimberle Crenshaw, Maya Angelou, Molefi Kete Asante, the many authors in “Black Women’s Liberatory Pedagogies: Resistance, Transformation and Healing within and beyond the Academy” (Perlow et al., 2018) and more. Concept for lab code of operations inspired by conversations with Dr. Kayunta Johnson-Winters. *Any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive to experimentation, investigation, observation, etc.; anything suggestive of a scientific laboratory.


Quotes that Inspire Us:

A living list from The Crew

“I told myself before I started working in the academy that I was not willing to sell my soul/self-censor for a job, so I have very purposefully set up my life so that I am able to exercise my dissident voice [stand alone if necessary] freely without fear of reprisal. That is not to say that I can’t lose my job, it’s just that if I do, I will be o.k.”…“My anger is a logical response to racialized and gendered maltreatment”…“The expectations of ‘niceness’ and ‘civility’ (or in the case of the academy, professionalism and collegiality) are not benign, but rather tools used to mask white supremacist power relationships and to silence people of color, ultimately maintaining the status quo”….  -Dr. Olivia Perlow       

“Be unapologetically you” –@delightful_dawn

“If you are silent, you are complicit. If you fail to demand change, you are giving approval. If you fail to demand justice, just know, you are guilty, and you support injustice” -Dr. Henrika McCoy

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