Building a Foundation: an Introduction to Participatory Action Research

Goal of this training: Participants gain the tools and resources to build a foundation for sustained organizing rooted in the wisdom and knowledge of those involved. Through the training, participants gain the skills and resources to address their experiences and specific needs and build a sustainable foundation for their work. All of our trainings end with collective reflection, where participants have a chance to share what they learned from the training and what they hope to continue to explore.


  • Develop a foundational understanding of PAR-based principles of organizing
  • Build skills and leadership
  • Identify concrete issues and challenges
  • Begin to develop strategies and a plan of action for working with your organization or collaborating with a community group

Download the Curriculum

Download the Facilitator Guide

Table of Contents:

Session 1 Curriculum (FACILITATOR) 3
Session 2 Curriculum (FACILITATOR) 9
Materials List (FACILITATOR) 16
– Agenda Session 1 17
– Overview of PAR 18
– Quotes (FACILITATOR) 19
– Agenda Session 2 21
– Mutuality Cartoon 22
Reflections/Evaluation (FACILITATOR) 23

In the first session, participants understand the ways in which PAR supports a process of building knowledge that is rooted in the voices and personal experience of community members. This session covers what PAR is, the principles of PAR and key vocabulary words that describe participatory processes of building knowledge collectively. Through group discussions, creative expression and activities, participants learn and model key PAR principles and terms.

The second session continues to cover key PAR principles. Participants collectively explore how to integrate PAR into different areas of our work. We share migration stories, which leads to an analysis and planning of current work and organizing processes.