Empowering practices in education-focused coalitions: an examination using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis

Joshua Paul Miles*, Anne Marie Boyer, Michelle Shumate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As pressure increases to support social justice, coalitions try to understand their role in oppression while implementing practices to create equitable environments. Twenty-six education-focused community coalitions in the United States participated in the study. Coalition interviews and membership rosters are used to evaluate the degree to which these coalitions engage in community engagement practices conducive to empowerment. Involvement practices emphasize communication strategies and participatory design structures. Systems change practices emphasize agenda-setting processes and a level of awareness of structural sources that create social marginalization. This work investigates how these two practices create empowerment. This study uses fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to examine the impact of community poverty, coalition age, government representation, coalition size, school district size, and coalition governance on involvement and systems change practices. The results demonstrate combinations of these conditions in four mutually exclusive solutions for involvement practices and two mutually exclusive solutions for systems change practices. The paper ends by identifying cases that coincide with these solutions and how communities thoughtfully configure their collaborations to coincide with empowerment theory. Additionally, we identify potential trade-offs between involvement and systems change practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-199
Number of pages20
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development


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