Melanie Sonsteng-Person, MSW, CTP
She, Her, Hers
Department of Social Welfare, UCLA
I am a PhD candidate and Social Justice Fellow at UCLA. I have two lines of research, PhotoVoice methodology and violence and trauma intervention and prevention.
PhotoVoice research is a participatory action research method that allows individuals and communities to create counter narratives and increase empathy through perspective taking. I use this methodology with various topics lead by different communities to advance the dreams and demands that they have for themselves and their communities.
Broadly, my personal research interest focuses on the impact of, and intervention for, trauma exposure found in various systems. I am currently focused on the relationship between violence exposure, trauma, and school outcomes with the goal of identifying protective factors found within schools.
I believe that in order to effectively intervene in and prevent violence, trauma, and incarceration research should seek to transform power relations and increase equity. I believe that research should be based in community-driven knowledge and lead to collective action.
As a social worker, researcher, and educator I have proven experience in violence prevention & intervention and academic achievement. I have worked in Boston, Brooklyn, Detroit, and Los Angeles.
Research is not a solitary endeavor. People's lived experiences, personal stories, and dedication make all of this work a possibility. Below are some of the wonderful students, community researchers, schools, and organizations that I work with.