Highlander's PAR Institute

PAR Institute Living Bibliography

Highlander's PAR Institute Logo with image of row of rocking chairs with view of mountains in the distance

Participatory Bibliography

Welcome to Highlander PAR’s Institute. This is an ever-growing and in-process resource document to help familiarize you with the general concepts of PAR and provide some jumping off places for your own research, art, and action!

Start Here with this explanation of the mission and methodologies used at Highlander. This document was created by Gabriel Hurtado-Ramos and is available in English and Spanish and includes definitions of Popular Education, Intergenerational Organizing, Cultural Organizing, Land Legacy and Place, Language Justice, and Participatory Action Research.

What Is Participatory Action Research?

Participatory Action Research recognizes information as power. It is a collective process where people investigate a specific issue or question to inform organizing, strategy and solutions.

Participatory Action Research (PAR) challenges the belief that only academics or trained professionals can produce accurate information, and instead recognizes information as POWER and puts that power in the hands of people seeking to overcome problems in their daily lives. PAR is a collective process of investigation, empowerment, and action. The people most affected by the problems, sometimes with the help of “experts”, investigate and analyze the issues, and ultimately act together to bring about meaningful, long-term solutions.

What is Cultural Organizing?

Cultural Organizing celebrates and honors people’s spiritual traditions and cultural expression in the work to shift policies and practices. From Highlander’s History and Methods document

“Cultural organizing exists at the intersection of art and activism. It is a fluid and dynamic practice that is understood and expressed in a variety of ways, reflecting the unique cultural, artistic, organizational, and community context of its practitioners. Cultural organizing is about integrating arts and culture into organizing strategies. It is also about organizing from a particular tradition, cultural identity, community of place, or worldview.”

From Cultural Organizing: Experiences at the Intersection of Art and Activism. Read full essay here: https://culturalorganizing.org/what-is-cultural-organizing/

Additional Examples: Resources on cultural organizing from Arts and Democracy: https://artsanddemocracy.org/what-we-do/cultural-organizing/

What is Popular Education? 

Popular Education is the process of bringing people together to share their lived experiences and build collective knowledge. Popular Education learning informs action for liberation. Highlander Mission and Methodologies.