Freedom Market Transformation Project

Freedom Market Transformation Project

Director/PI: Professors Joanne Larson and Joyce Duckles

A community partnership and collaborative participatory action research project, it aims to transform and rebuild one of Rochester’s most impoverished communities and critically and holistically address the complexities with community urban transformation.

Collaborators: North East Area Development, Inc. (NEAD), Freedom Market, Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School, East High School, John James Audubon School 33, Rochester community, and the Warner School

Funding: New York State Department of Education, City of Rochester, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, Rochester Area Community Foundation, and Foodlink

As co-researchers, co-implementers, and co-authors, each partner plays an active, equal role in transforming this urban community.  The Freedom Market Transformation Project, a major initiative of this unique community-university partnership, has enabled the partners to play a role in researching and documenting the transformation of a formerly rundown ubiquitous urban corner store into a community hub for healthy food and safe neighborhood gathering. While the community celebrated the grand opening of the newly remodeled Freedom Market in 2013, the research team continues to collect qualitative data in the store and community, track the changes, interview residents, customers, and store employees, and analyze the data.
Project Goal:
The team’s goal is to understand how a community gets strengthened and builds strength through a rhizomatic model of interconnectivity, and then to consider how this model can then be replicated in other urban communities nationwide.

To learn more about this unique community-university partnership, click here or visit:

Tags: Freedom Market, Freedom School, Joanne Larson, Joyce Duckles