Culturally Responsive Researcher Network

Impact Through Proximity

Welcome to Culturally Responsive Researcher Network

The Culturally Responsive Researcher Network (CRRN) is a new collaboration between the Center for Justice Research and the Bureau of Justice Assistance Smart Suite. This innovative partnership brings together the Smart Suite’s data-driven approach to justice solutions with the Center’s expertise in culturally competent, community-centered research and reform.

Through CRRN, we aim to increase the cultural responsiveness, equity, and inclusion of Smart Suite efforts by equipping jurisdictions, community groups, researchers and other stakeholders with training, tools, and guidance for advancing justice in a racially equitable way. Core focus areas include diversifying researcher pools, facilitating community partnerships, integrating cultural competence into training curricula, and providing resources to translate research into reforms that work for all groups.
We hope you’ll join us on this journey to ensure justice solutions reflect the experiences of all communities. CRRN offers opportunities for engagement across research, training, capacity building, policy advocacy, and community empowerment. Let’s build a just system together.

Our Vision

We envision just systems where diverse communities inform and drive solutions. To realize this vision, CRRN focuses on:
  • Growing a nationwide culturally responsive researcher network: We curate a searchable database and opportunities connecting researchers, practitioners, and impacted groups.
  • Building capacity for community-centered research: Our training equips partners with culturally responsive methodologies and equitable engagement tactics.
  • Facilitating collaborations across sectors: We foster partnerships between justice agencies, community advocates, administrators, and other stakeholders to enhance inclusion.
  • Translating research into equitable reforms: We help partners apply insights to policy and practice change reflecting experiences of all groups.

Our Vision

We envision just systems where diverse communities inform and drive solutions. To realize this vision, CRRN focuses on:
  • Growing a nationwide culturally responsive researcher network: We curate a searchable database and opportunities connecting researchers, practitioners, and impacted groups.
  • Building capacity for community-centered research: Our training equips partners with culturally responsive methodologies and equitable engagement tactics.
  • Facilitating collaborations across sectors: We foster partnerships between justice agencies, community advocates, administrators, and other stakeholders to enhance inclusion.
  • Translating research into equitable reforms: We help partners apply insights to policy and practice change reflecting experiences of all groups.

Our Capabilities

Research & Program Evaluation

Our research and evaluation capabilities equip partners with the insights and guidance to advance equity. We conduct customized needs assessments identifying reform priorities attuned to cultural contexts. Through our technical assistance services, we provide expert recommendations on research design, methodology, data collection techniques, analysis, and application that align with culturally responsive frameworks. We also support program and policy evaluations to examine their impact across various population groups, which allows our partners to diagnose gaps and expand successes towards a just system.

Equitable Data Science and Technology

CRRN builds tools for data exploration, analysis, and exchange that incorporate principles of equity and inclusion. We maintain a nationwide database that maps researcher expertise and community assets connected to justice reform. Our virtual dashboards offer real-time data visualizations for tracking trends and progress. We also work directly with agencies to enhance their data infrastructure, analytics capacities, and information sharing platforms in a responsible manner that empowers historically marginalized groups. With robust data capabilities rooted in cultural competence, our partners gain expanded awareness and sharpened targeting of systemic barriers.

Organizational and Community Development

We deliver training, advising, partnership facilitation and other services that expand an organization's ability to advance justice within communities. Our workshops build knowledge around cultural competence, implicit bias, inclusive leadership and other areas that strengthen internal practices. We also guide agencies on incorporating cultural context into their logic models, operations, and service provision. Beyond the agency walls, CRRN connects partners into learning networks for ongoing exchange and growth in applying culturally responsive approaches. We leverage community relationships, amplify resident voices, and mobilize data, research and organizing momentum for reforms centered in racial and social equity. .

Community Engagement

CRRN provides individualized guidance and coaching to justice agencies and jurisdictions seeking to enhance their cultural responsiveness and community alignment. We meet partners where they are at in their equity journey, tailoring our support services accordingly along stages of readiness. Technical assistance may involve reviewing policies/practices for bias, identifying priorities for organizational change, providing recommendations on increasing language access, suggesting models for participatory advisory structures with residents, and supporting execution of key changes. We also offer advising connections to a range of resources, including promising programs to replicate, translational research to apply, experts to consult, as well as funding and partnership opportunities that propel progress. By leveraging insights across research, data, organizational dynamics and community wisdom, our expert technical assistance helps partners transform systems.

Latest News

What’s happening in CRRN. Empowering Communities and Smart Suite Engagement
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