The articles in this Special Issue of the CJUR arise from research conducted by members of the Manitoba Research Alliance (MRA) as part of a project titled "Transforming Inner-City and Aboriginal Communities." The project is funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) grant administered through the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA-MB). The MRA is a genuine and mutually beneficial partnership between inner-city community-based organizations (CBOs) and their leaders, and university and other researchers. Out of this close collaboration has arisen a diversity of research projects organized into four streams: justice, safety, and security; housing and neighbourhood revitalization; education, training, and capacity building; and community economic development. This Special Issue of the CJUR features just some of the work that has been produced so far (see also: http://policyalternatives.ca/offices/ manitoba and http://www.manitobaresearchalliance-tiac.ca/). Because a central aim of the MRA project has been to gain an appreciation of day-to-day life in Winnipeg's inner city from the perspective of those who live there, much of our work has taken a participatory action research and/or ethnographic form. Spending time in the inner city, and working to earn the trust of those who live and work there, has enabled an understanding of Winnipeg's inner-city communities that is deeper and more nuanced, we believe, than the dominant views in which the inner city and its residents are stereotyped and stigmatized. In doing this kind of research we have sought to move beyond the outsider's gaze, in a way consistent with the vast literature on the problems associated with attempts to see and understand the "Other" from the outside (Said 1978; Clifford & Marcus 1986, for example), and consistent with at least some of the recent American work on inner-city issues (Venkatesh 2000; Wacquant 2008, for example).