Faces of Urban Health: A Forum to Share Community-Based Strategies to Address Health Inequity in Urban Communities

We invite community residents, advocates, and organizations to the Faces of Urban Health Forum, where we will consider together how to create and sustain community-academic partnerships, how to do rigorous and meaningful research in partnership, and how to design and promote healthier policies - both in our organizations and in our government - based upon research and community values.

The old research paradigm used to address health disparities, and inequity confined communities to a passive role - the research subject. At the same time, this paradigm limited researchers’ ability to see the many factors that influence health in the community. Strengths, ways of knowing, values, and policy barriers were often hidden from view. The development of participatory research, where practitioners and researchers work in collaboration with communities (referred to as Participatory Action Research - PAR; Community-based Participatory Research - CBPR; Community-based Participatory Action Research - CBPAR; and Participatory Learning and Action - PLA) has led to research that directly benefits communities. What is clear is that research and action benefit when community voice is heard.

The Forum is open to all community members interested in practicing forms of action research. The Forum will include interactive workshop and platform sessions to promote the sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practices throughout the United States and globally by and among community partners in the following areas:

1) effective methods in establishing, maintaining and sustaining community-academic partnerships

2) engagement in all phases of the research process

3) strategies for effective administration and governance through capacity-building and collaboration among community partners already engaged in community-academic partnerships

4) successes and challenges in designing, advocating for and implementing community-driven, evidence-based systems-level change (i.e. policy).