Paul Gorski Receives Summer Research Funding Award

New Century College Associate Professor Paul Gorski has been awarded research funding through George Mason’s competitive Summer Research Funding program. The program, administered by Mason’s Office of Research and Economic Development, awards funding to accepted faculty proposals seeking to engage in scholarly activity during the summer months.

Professor Gorski’s research will examine activist burnout among racial justice activists in the United States. The purpose of the summer project is to “examine the ways in which the cultures within one specifically intense movement in the U.S. – the racial justice movement – may perpetuate activist burnout.” The project will have an immediate objective to bolster a body of knowledge that can be used to help racial justice movements and organizations retain activists who are committed to doing their work. The larger objective of the project will be to strengthen racial justice movements more generally by addressing the conditions that hasten activist burnout.

Along with colleague, NCC Assistant Professor Cher Chen, Gorski has begun to build on the small body of research existing in the field. As part of this project, Gorski will interview 45-50 U.S.-based racial justice activists who, based on a scale created by Chen and Gorski, have experienced activist burnout. Gorski also hopes to survey 1,500 U.S.-based racial justice activists with a purpose to “uncover the extent to which racial justice activists have experienced the kinds of conditions that lead to burnout within their movements and organizations.”

The project will be the largest-scale study of activist burnout ever done and the first mixed-methods study of racial justice activist burnout.