Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative approach to research that brings together the university and the community in the research process and recognizes the unique contributions and expertise of each partner.
Through partnerships between academic institutions, community organizations and community residents, the goal of CBPR is to address community needs, improve health outcomes and eliminate disparities.
Engaging Richmond is a partnership between community members and researchers from VCU and is based in Richmond’s East End. Since the project’s inception in 2011, the members of the Engaging Richmond team have used mixed-methods research to explore the social and environmental factors that influence health. The research was funded by a Center for Translational Science Award grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Identifying community priorities
Based on focus group information gathered in 2012 from approximately 195 participants including men, women, parents, caregivers, elderly, homeless, employed, unemployed, residents and service providers, the Engaging Richmond team identified the following community priorities:
- Workforce development
- Parental involvement
- Mental well-being
The team of community-resident researchers is developing targeted dissemination strategies based on these community-identified priorities to bring evidence to policy makers and change agents.