Alison Baker-Lewton is a Senior Lecturer in Social Pedagogy in the College of Arts and Education at Victoria University in Melbourne. She received her PhD in Psychology in the Public Interest (Community Psychology) at North Carolina State University. Her research draws on critical community psychology, public health and education to explore how inequality impacts young people from marginalized backgrounds, focusing on social identities, sense of belonging and health and well-being. This research has focused on the contexts and ecologies of young people’s lives, including neighborhoods, schools and local arts and sports programs.
Over the past several years a significant part of her research has examined racialisation as a form of structural violence and its impact on young people in Australia. This has included experiences of both adults and young people of African background who have come to Australia as migrants/refugees, drawing attention to the role of settings and activities (i.e. sports, alternative education, community-based arts) as well as the symbolic resources deployed in the development of identity, belonging, and social action. In her research she has mobilised critical race theories and liberation psychology to map empowered community responses and narratives of resistance. Using visual and sound research methodologies, this work has explored possibilities for social change and activism through public and community pedagogies.