Online Program

Leveling the surface for facilitating research literacy and co-production of knowledge in a Latino community-university partnership

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Maria Idali Torres, PhD, MPH, The Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
Phillip Granberry, PhD, Gastón Institute, UMass Boston, Boston, MA
Successful community-university partnerships for community-based participatory research (CBPR) are expected to transcend power relationships between different skill levels and life experiences. Central to the CBPR' approach is the responsibility of university-trained researchers to transfer research skills to community members regardless of their levels of general literacy. Likewise, the community will teach researchers how to use their cultural capital to support the research process. Our project is part of the Center for Health Equity Intervention Research based at the UMass Medical School, and it involves other two partners: the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) and the Gastón Institute (GI) at UMass Boston. It builds on the experience of CBPR efforts in Latino communities that have applied the Freirian-Praxis methodologies. This paper illustrates how a field research task such as a neighborhood enumeration helps facilitate research literacy. We will describe the implementation procedures and process of carrying out the task and the debriefing sessions that linked the thought and action/subjectivity and objectivity/theory and practice. It will conclude with a discussion of the potential contributions of our approach to the (1) demystification of research in Latino communities, as expressed by community residents', (2) activation of curiosity and inquiry about their own contextual reality as it relates to a topic of study, and (3) realization of their own capacity for critical analysis and ability to take an active role in the research that is being conducted about them and their community.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe a method for engaging community members in conducting research in their community. Identify critical features of the process of collaboration that builds capacity for research, inquiry, and empowerment in a Latino community.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Associate Professor in Anthropology and Director of the Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy. Formerly Associate Professor in the School of Public Health, UMass Amherst. NIH grant recipient. Extensive experience and peer reviewed papers on community health, specifically focused on the Latino community.
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.