Online Program

Historical Purpose, Power, and Politics Behind the Concept of "Community Engagement"

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kent Key, PhD, MPH, Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research, Medical School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Leslie Paulson, MSW, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Adam Paberzs, MPH, Outreach, Partnerships and Implementation Science, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, Ann Arbor, MI
Meghan Airgood, BSci, CHES, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), Outreach Partnerships and Implementation Sciences (OPIS), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Kanchan Sehgal Lota, MPH, Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research, Univeristy of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Patricia Piechowski-Whitney, MPH, LLMSW, MA, Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Karen Calhoun, MA, Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Ashley Tuomi, DHSc, American Indian Health & Family Services of Southeast Michigan, Inc., Detroit, MI
Nikita Buckhoy, LMSW, City Connect Detroit, Detroit, MI
Donald Vereen Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, Prevention Research Center, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Historically, the concept of “community engagement” in research has denoted involvement of groups that were recognized as underrepresented, underprivileged, and under-resourced groups. However, this concept is evolving. Presently, the scope and use of “community engagement”  by federal funders such as the National Institutes of Health, has become broader to be inclusive of organizations and groups typically embedded in professional institutional structures, thereby creating several  concerns for grassroots communities related to equitable partnerships, resource sharing, and the ability to influence and impact research. In other words, traditional “community” may now be forced to compete with broadly defined “communities”, which ultimately impacts the capacity to obtain resources and achieve financial stability. As Michigan’s Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA),  Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) positions itself in responding toward a broadening definition of “community engagement” it is challenged to bridge the gap and promote bidirectional learning between the historically underserved “communities of identity” with “communities of institutions.” Institutions and researchers, academic or otherwise who are tasked with “engaging communities” both in responding to and securing funding opportunities, are challenged to consider the implications of responding to and defining this evolving concept. This session is designed to provide a platform for both community-and-academic-based stakeholders to dialogue around the evolving definition of community engagement and the implications for their partnerships. How can individuals and institutions, such as MICHR, foster equitable partnerships between historically underrepresented communities with historically privileged communities to move the dial on translational research and ultimately impact health.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the concept of “community engagement” through a historical and cultural framework that recognizes systematic distribution of power and resources. Determine the implications of changing terminology and broadening definitions of “community”. Identify strategies to effectively develop shared meaning and definition of “community engagement” in research that is relevant to their local partnerships.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a staff member for the Michigan Institute Clinical Health Research's Community Engagement Program within the UM-CTSA. I have created and developed a model around the concept of "communities engagement" an outgrowth of our current community engagement model. I am the Clinical Research Associate for MICHR to the Flint, MI community. I am a member of the Community Based Public Health Caucus.
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.