Meet our researcher team: faculty, PhD candidates and students from both Johns Hopkins and Yale University with fields of study ranging from political science, law and African American studies. 

Since the project's inception, the principle researchers worked with Shared_Studios to carefully select Portals sites, design survey questions, and maintain the highest ethical standards with regard to outreach, data collection and storage.

 

After collecting the Portals dialogues and transcribing them, the research team worked together to code and analyze Portals transcripts and surveys. They did so using two primary methods. The first was using Dedoose, a qualitative coding software that indexes key themes and patterns. The second method was through close reading in order to observe how themes unfold within a dialogue. In addition to coding, they conducted site visits, interviewed Portals curators, and researched neighborhood contexts and local policing regimes. 

The Portal is staffed by a member of the community – a Curator – they are the glue that holds together the Shared_Studios global network. Curators have a long-standing connection and trust within their communities. The Curator does outreach, solicits passersby, describes the study and administers the pre-conversation survey.

 

They also use the Portals for informal “pop up” initiatives (a space for art and performance like poetry slam, a spot to gather around community projects, having community “shared meals,” or dialoguing with global Portals that are not a part of our study) on the days and times that conversations are not being recorded for our study.

 

In this way, the Curators create the Portal to be a community gathering spot and interesting place for all kinds of discussions and collaborations, not just for discussing the heavy topic of policing.