May 11, 2021

Announcement from CLA Commencement 2021 website. The virtual commencement is Sunday, May 16, 1 p.m. CDT.

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Dr. Brittany Lewis delivering CLA’s 2021 virtual Commencement ceremony keynote speech. Image from LATIS Video Services

Dr. Brittany Lewis is a well-respected community engaged qualitative scholar, thought leader, speaker, and author known for bringing those most often locked out of local decision-making processes to the action research table. Dr. Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Research in Action, an urban research, evaluation, community engagement, and racial equity consulting firm, and is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota. She is a 2015 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, with a Ph.D. in urban and gender studies.

Dr. Lewis is the Principal Investigator of the Illusion of Choice: Evictions and Profit in North Minneapolis report and the Co-Principal Investigator on the recently published report The Diversity of Gentrification: Multiple Forms of Gentrification in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Dr. Lewis’s research was used in a Minnesota Supreme Court case to expand rights for tenants facing evictions, as direct testimony at the Minnesota State Legislature, and to inform the human services and public safety impact agenda within Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis. Dr. Lewis has consulted with philanthropic partners such as the Pohlad and Graves Foundation, who refer directly to Dr. Lewis’s research as they develop their own scope of work and strategic plans of action. 

Formerly, Dr. Lewis was a Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Scholar in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor at Macalester College in Political Science and American Studies. She serves on the Hennepin County Youth Justice Council, the City of Minneapolis Housing Advisory Council, and the State of Minnesota Working Group on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters. Dr. Lewis is the author of a number of state and city reports, featured in a series of academic journals, and has been honored with a number of research fellowships and a best paper award. Dr. Lewis’s expertise has also been featured in documentaries such as The Jim Crow of the North (2019) and A Fiery Unrest: Why Plymouth Avenue Burned (2019).


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