Community is the Way: Engaged Writing and Designing for Transformative Change

  • Writing Program, Rhetoric, Writing, Social Justice, DEI

By Aimée Knight
Copy edited by Karen P. Peirce. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverHow can we design for equity and justice in our community partnerships? This field guide offers a vision for enacting social justice with community partners. Working from a community’s resources and strengths toward the goal of building its internal capacity, this book considers how actions such as grassroots activism, decolonization efforts, co-resistance movements, and social change initiatives can support reciprocity and mutuality. Community is the Way provides examples of concrete, situated action grounded in disciplinary knowledge and extensive fieldwork. Reflecting on her experiences operating a community writing program, author Aimée Knight argues that the equity-based approach described in this book requires a commitment to interrogating how power, oppression, resistance, privilege, penalties, benefits, and harms are built into the systems we seek to change. Knight offers a community-led approach that builds bridges of understanding and support and charts a path toward transformative change.

Table of Contents

In PDF Format PDF Format     In ePub Format ePub Format

Front Matter


Foreword. What Do We Want from Community Writing?, Paula Mathieu

Introduction: Lesson (Still Not) Learned

Chapter 1. How Might We Enact a Transforming Commitment to Social Justice by Engaging in Projects That Benefit Both the Community and the University?

Chapter 2.How Might We Join With Community Partners in a Process of Inquiry That Embodies the Values of Mutuality and Reciprocity?

Chapter 3. How Might We in the Writing Classroom Engage in Community-Building Approaches That Pursue Social Justice via Emerging Media?

Chapter 4. How Might We Develop Our Students’ Skills in Writing and Rhetoric via Emerging Media While Working With Our Community Partners to Build Capacity?

Chapter 5. How Might Writing Programs Become Vital Resources to Communities?




About the Author

Aimée Knight is Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Saint Joseph’s University. She is a multimodal writing scholar focusing on social justice, design, and community engagement. Her research involves designing for equity and justice in our community-university partnerships. She is the founder and director of the Beautiful Social Research Collaborative (founded in 2010). In this community writing program, students have partnered with over 100 nonprofits and community-based organizations worldwide.

For 25 years, she has pursued community engagement projects with the United States Peace Corps (Poland XIV), Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World), the PhotoVoice Collective, Michigan State University’s Public Humanities Collaborative, TEDxSJU, and TEDxPhiladelphia, and as a member of the Design Justice Network. Her published work appears in Computers and Composition, Computers and Composition Online, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion, and the edited collections Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies (University of Michigan Press/Sweetland) and Doing More Digital Humanities: Open Approaches to Creation, Growth, and Development (Routledge).

Publication Information: Knight, Aimée. (2022). Community is the Way: Engaged Writing and Designing for Transformative Change. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Digital Publication Date: March 9, 2022
Print Publication Date: December 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64215-148-0 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-149-7 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-314-9 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2022.1480

Contact Information:
Aimée Knight:

Practices & Possibilities

Series Editors: Aimee McClure, Clarke University; Mike Palmquist, Colorado State University; and Aleashia Walton, University of Cincinnati

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It is also available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2022 Aimée Knight. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 United States License. 138 pages, with illustrations and bibliography. This book is available in print from University Press of Colorado as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in PDF and ePub formats for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.