Reflections about the Power to Shape “Knowledge”

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

I wish to express my deep gratitude to Miriam Schacht for helping me be able to admit something that I have carried silently throughout my professional and academic career. Influenced more by my Ojibwe heritage, perhaps because of consciously-obvious contrasts to Anglo-American values, I have viewed my work as a sacred responsibility. As non-rational as it may sound, I seek to understand individuals and communities by listening and observing from a compassionate, nonjudgmental, eco-systems worldview. This is not an easy task, and it has often made me wonder if the lenses I look through to make sense of the world are trustworthy.

I wonder what knowledge or obligations still lead me to challenge the taken-for-granted views and methods of other practitioners and scholars. Yet when I ask whether research and practice interventions improve the lives of individuals, the compassionate cohesion of communities, or the sense of peace and shared humanity in the…

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