Sarah Switzer

Organization Details

Toronto , Ontario


Sarah Switzer is an adult educator, community artist, and community-based participatory researcher living in Toronto. Her work is inspired by over a decade of working at the intersections of community arts, peer programming, and HIV and Harm Reduction. Her doctoral research included co-developing Picturing Participation, a community-based participatory research project that used photovoice (a method where participants are given cameras to identify and analyze issues in their communities) to explore how different stakeholders understand community engagement in the context of HIV and harm reduction programming. A snapshot of this project can be found here: Equity, accessibility and collaboration are pivotal principles in her work. Sarah publishes and teaches in the area of participatory visual methodologies; harm reduction; youth engagement; public participation; community engagement; HIV community-based participation research; popular education; and visual ethics. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Ontario Institute for Education where she will be studying how facilitators think through their pedagogical practice when working on community-engaged social justice project. Stay tuned! She also teaches in women and gender studies at the university of Toronto.

Thoughts About Art and Community

My larger program of research and teaching involves identifying creative strategies to meaningfully engage communities who experience marginalization in program and policy change. Most of this work is centered in the HIV and harm reduction together. I work with many diverse communities - together, we identify, dream up, and initiate projects, collaboratively build resources, and reflect on our work together. For sample write ups of some of these projects, check out:


I provide agency and research institution training on the following topics: curriculum development; community-based participatory research and evaluation; arts-based evaluation; popular education; participatory visual methods; facilitation; and ethics and participatory visual methods.