On community leadership: Stories about collaboration in action research

James G. Kelly*, L. Scan Azelton, Cecile Lardon, Lynne O. Mock, S. Darius Tandon, Mamie Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This article provides an account of a 10-year collaborative documentation of community leadership in an African American community on the South side of Chicago. The stories are oriented to several critical incidents in the life course of the collaboration. They are told from the perspectives of one university professor, four graduate students, and one community leader. Together they provide an account of how this research was shaped by the interactions of the research team with members of the community, how research questions emerged, methodologies were developed, ways of gathering data were tried and tested, and interpretations of data unfolded. Special attention is given to the ways in which the process and products of this research contributed to the community's own process of leadership development. The stories also discuss the various roles participants in this collaboration played both in the academic arena and in the community, and how they experienced gender, race, nationality, and social status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Collaboration
  • Community leadership
  • Community research partnerships
  • Research process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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