Research for Equity and Power (REP)

Research for Equity and Power (REP) is a project led by a partnership between Homewood Children's Village and the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.  The REP Project has been actively engaging youth and adult Homewood residents since July 2019 to explore resident’s definitions of civic engagement, agency, and activism, particularly around the issue of equitable development and resident-driven community revitalization. We are working with residents to understand the capacity residents have to influence upcoming and ongoing changes to their community and strengthen Homewood residents’ ability to influence neighborhood change.  The project is also informed by a resident-led Community Advisory Board.

We held a series of community conversations with 30 youth and adult residents in Homewood during the summer of 2019, and through those conversations we created an Equitable Development Playbook (see link below).  We have been sharing the playbook virtually since the pandemic started (see below for links to some of our presentations), and hope to hold a Citizen Training Academy in Homewood once it is safe to meet in person.

Project Team

Mary L. Ohmer
Co-Principle Investigator 
Shannah Tharp-Gilliam
Co-Principle Investigator

Donnell Pearl
Community Researcher

MSW Interns:

  • Katie Holler
  • Evie Damon

Homewood Community Advisory Board:

  • Zinna Scott
  • Nakeisha Carter
  • Khadija Bey
  • Dorothea Hall
  • Michele Chestnut
  • Tonya McClenton-Todd
  • Dorothy Bey
  • Shirline Wilson

Learn More


REP Community Report Out: June 10, 2020:

PITT Civic Engagement Week Workshop: Community Organizing 101: October 5, 2020:

News Articles:

PittWire:  July 16, 2020: A Playbook for Homewood’s Future

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  August 16, 2020:  Homewood Partnership Goes Proactive in Guiding Future Development

image of cover of Equitable Development Playbook

REP Equitable Development Playbook 

Click here >>






Read the abstract from the Society of Social Work Research Conference here