College of Education

Liberation Lab

Liberation lab logo

About us

The Liberation Lab is under the direction of Dr. Helen Neville at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The lab consists of both undergraduate and graduate research assistants.

In the lab, we investigate the ways in which race and racism are constructed, the impact of racism on the lived experience of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the United States and globally, and how BIPOC people heal and reach liberation. The lab adopts a critical, liberatory framework to research and practice. Lab members work in several areas related to racial ideology and race-related processes, radial healing and liberation, including:

  • Radical healing and hope
  • Color-blind racial ideology (CBRI)
  • Racial identity
  • Racial-ethnic-cultural belonging

We also investigate ways to promote community well-being through participatory action research projects:

  • The Community Healing and Resistance Through Storytelling (C-HeARTS) Collaborative. C-HeARTS is a group of interdisciplinary scholars and community members exploring community healing among African Americans living in Urbana-Champaign. (https://publish.illinois.edu/c-heartscollaborative/)
  • Policing in a Multiracial Society (PMSP)- a participatory action project developing and evaluating a diversity education program with police recruits;
  • #PowerUp- a youth participatory action research project exploring youth civic and community engagement;
  • Malkia wa Nguvu, a cross-cultural student-centered project examining gender-based violence on college campuses in the US and Tanzania

Liberation Lab Logo Story

B. Andi Lee created the Liberation Lab logo in July 2020. The image includes a Fawohodie adinkra symbol. Adinkra symbols are an ubiquitous aspect of the socio-cultural fabric of the Asante people in Ghana. The Fawohodie represents freedom and emancipation, key components of liberation. The paint canvas colors were chosen to evoke the sun, with reference to nature, joy, and power. Lastly, because the path to liberation can be messy (and because we welcome and embrace our imperfections), the text is handwritten and the adinkra is hand-drawn.

"We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society" -Angela Davis