Breaking Barriers: Holistic Thinking Around Data-Informed Communities


October 17, 2023    
4:30 pm-6:00 pm


Honors College
319 Cooper Street, Camden, NJ, 08102

The CoLab Initiative is a data-informed community engagement hosted by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in the District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab. This initiative fosters partnerships between the DATA Lab and community-based organizations in Philadelphia by hosting workshops to provide data tools and engage in participatory research exercises. The main priorities of the DATA CoLab are: 1) to enhance the community partners’ capacity to use data to inform programming and advocacy efforts within their communities and 2) to elevate the experiences of community stakeholders and needs of various communities to inform data-driven policymaking. This project is intended to be place-based and community-driven.

The CoLab Initiative was piloted in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia from 2020-2022 and has been recently funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency “PCCD” from 2023-2026 to expand to Kensington, West, and Southwest sections of the city. For this seminar, Mariel will discuss the CoLab model, the implementation of the piloted initiative, lessons learned and the work ahead.

About the speaker

Mariel Delacruz (she/her/ella) is a third-year Criminal Justice Ph.D. scholar at Temple University. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Psychology and Sociology from Cabrini University and a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University-Camden. Mariel has held several positions in direct services, advocacy, policy, and research. Mariel’s focus areas include critical criminology, community-based participatory research, victimization, wrongful convictions, policy, youth, and young adults. Mariel’s goals, both in academia and in her applied work, is to center and amplify the voices and experiences of Black, Latinx and communities of color. Mariel is a co-founder and committee member of the newly established New Jersey Innocence Project affiliated with the Rutgers-Camden Law School.



This event is cosponsored by the Rutgers–Camden Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice.