Online Program

Race, power, and privilege in the community-academic research relationship: Perspectives of community scholars engaged in academic research partnerships

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:26 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.

Natasha Ray, New Haven Healthy Start, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT
Karen Wang, MD, MHS, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine/Department of Veterans Affairs-West Haven, New Haven, CT
David Berg, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, New Haven, CT
Georgina Lucas, MSW, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Kenn Harris, New Haven Healthy Start, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, New Haven, CT
Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Marjorie S. Rosenthal, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Background: The value of community-engaged research (CER ) to understand health inequities and create sustainable interventions is well known. However, research on the dynamics of community-academic partnerships has been conducted and interpreted almost exclusively by academic researchers. We sought authentic perspectives of community-based organizations (CBO) on CER partnerships. Methods: A CBO leader and a university researcher partnered, using in-depth interviews, to systematically assess the experiences and perspectives of CBO leaders and university researchers engaged in research relationships. In an attempt to elicit candid responses, the CBO co-researcher interviewed 10 CBO leaders, and the university co-researcher interviewed 10 university researchers. We used the constant comparative method of qualitative analysis. Results: Many participants described CER as valuable for building capacity for CBOS and academics, and as beneficial to the community. However, CBO leaders and academics differed on the importance of race, power and privilege in CER: CBO leaders described how an open conversation on these issues is crucial for a mutually respectful collaboration and academic researchers described these issues as residing in the past. Conclusion: Despite the years since the well-known research abuses involving communities of color, issues of race, power and privilege remain polarizing forces in academic-community research partnerships. As these issues influence the level of trust and commitment community partners bring to research collaborations, they need to be addressed before an equitable collaboration can occur.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the perspective of community leaders and academic researchers on the need for discussion regarding race, power and privilege within community/university partnerships.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I co-led the design, implementation and analysis of this research project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.