Joanna Ochocka is a leader in the use of participatory action research approaches, and she practices community-based research as a tool to mobilize people for social change. She has directed a number of large-scale research studies including multiple community-university partnerships. Joanna’s research and action has focused on community mental health for people with severe mental health issues, on cultural diversity and immigration, and on community supports for marginalized populations.

Since 1996, Joanna has directed the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) in Canada. CCBR is an independent, non-profit organization with vast of experience in community-based research in Canada and internationally, with involvement of over 350 projects in 30 years.

Joanna promotes community-based research in both academia and community. She is an adjunct professor at Renison University College at University of Waterloo and is currently teaching PAR and Community Engagement courses. She was an organizer of CU Expo 2011, in Waterloo, Ontario that brought together about 550 scholars, practitioners and community members to showcase innovative, community-university research projects.