The Appalachian Land Ownership Study: an emblem of citizen-driven participatory action research

John Gaventa further describes how the 1977 flood mobilized citizens toward supplementary research into the inequities connected to land ownership, taxation practices, and other local power dynamics. They requested funding from the ARC for what over time developed into the Appalachian Land Ownership Study, an effort that involved close review of courthouse tax records in 80 counties across six states (Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama). In his delineation of several citizen-based coalitions and movements that grew out of this work, Gaventa offers additional insight into the participatory action research central to the Highlander Center’s methodology. Follow this link for access to the full-length interview.

Recorded October 2021.