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ARNA History

The idea for ARNA evolved from a conference work group at the University of San Diego Action Research Conference in May 2012.  By November, a team of 5 network initiators from the US, Canada, and Mexico had joined forces and started to organize ARNA.  They were soon joined by many others who began working to build the ARNA community.  We are recording ARNA history in two ways at this time.

Archived Documents 

We are archiving ARNA documents through the use of a historical timeline. Since the beginning, ARNA has generated numerous documents related to operations, governance, goal setting, and events and activities. ARNA leadership has worked diligently to upload documents each year, and we hope that members and visitors and scholars find them useful as a part of the living history of ARNA. 





  • Year 1: 2012- 2013  
    • Network Initiators 
    • Working Groups; 
    • Conference in San Francisco 
    • Annual Report




  • Year 2: 2013- 2014  
    • Transition Coordinating Group
    • Operations' Committees, Special Interest Groups
    • Key Initiatives 
    • Conference in Bethlehem, PA.
    • Annual Report




Year 3: 2014 -2015  
    • Executive Committee and Coordinating Group, 
    • Operations' Committees, Action Research Communities (ARCs)
    • Annual Report 
    • Conference in Toronto

Oral History Project

The great discovery of contemporary science is that the universe is not 
simply a place, but a story – a story in which we are immersed, to which 
we belong, and out of which we arose. 
                                                                           -Swimme & Tucker, 2011 

Concurrently with the publication of the inaugural ARNA 2014 Conference 
Proceedings, we established the ARNA Oral History Project. Given that ARNA is a relatively new organization founded in 2012, you may ask, “Why oral history?"

Oral history is the collection of stories and reminiscences of the members of a community (Janesick, 2010). By sharing our experiences through interviews and recorded reflections, we are writing ARNA history as we are living it, i.e., living in action. Hence, the purpose of the ARNA Oral History Project is to capture the ARNA network inception, initiation, development, and self-organization as perceived and experienced by its members. The goal is to document ARNA evolution as its future unfolds by interviewing ARNA members and leaders during its annual conferences. 

Oral history interviewing is dialogical in nature. By telling stories we make 
meaning of our experiences. Oral history is to generate a particular 
knowledge, i.e., ARNA network living theory. Oral history is an “educative 
activity” (Janesick, 2010, p. 16). Knowing our history is empowering and 
transforming. Knowing our history is to make sense of who we are; where 
we have come from; and what lies ahead of us. Gathered stories serve as
a foundation to engage 
actions, processes, activities, and accomplishments;
to make 
informed decisions about changes, directions, and improvements;
to shape our identity, and to plan and to 
explore new possibilities, ultimately
to sustain our community. 

During the ARNA 2014 Conference held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in
May 2014, four founding members were 
interviewed included Lonnie Rowell,
Cathy Bruce, 
Margaret Riel, and Joe Shosh. ARNA is the creation of these
four members of our community. Elena Polush 
conducted these first oral history
interviews. We are 
grateful to them for their time to describe events and to 
tell their unique stories of lived-through experiences of how the ARNA vision 
evolved and was realized. 

The four narratives will be forthcoming.
  • Interview with Lonnie Rowell
  • Interview with Joe Shosh
  • Interview with Cathy Bruce
  • Interview with Margaret Riel