Not “On”, “In”, or “For”, but “WITH”: A CBPR Call to Action
What is CBPR? Community-Based Participatory Research is a fundamentally different approach to research and orientation developed and used over many years. CBPR is community-based and community-directed rather than community placed, which has allowed for increased health equity and shared partnership in communities that have worked with researchers within a CBPR model. The 3rd edition of Community–Based Participatory Research for Health: Advancing Social and Health Equity, edited by Nina Wallerstein, Bonnie Duran, John Oetzel, and Meredith Minkler, defines the term as “CBPR embraces collaborative efforts among the community, academics, and other stakeholders who gather and use research and data to build on strengths and priorities of the community for multilevel strategies to health and social equity.”
For one week in May, Maddie was invited to participate in the University of New Mexico’s College of Population Health 2023 Summer Institute “Community Based Participatory Research for Health and Indigenous Knowledge.” The week-long course was built on the mutual interest of moving community-driven health equity forward, approaching community intervention WITH communities in the driver’s seat, identifying and developing needs identified by communities, and the ethical duty we must uphold while serving communities. Maddie learned and worked alongside some of the most brilliant minds rooted in and working with communities across the country, as well as Canada and Brazil. The tools, lessons, and knowledge learned are invaluable and will undoubtedly impact her work with communities for the rest of her career. Maddie leaves you all with the encouragement to always look at who’s sitting at the table, who has the power and is the work being done guided by the communities for the communities or “on/in” the communities.
A special thank you to the University of Washington ARCH - Center for Anti-Racism and Community Health and the Washington State Department of Health for making this opportunity possible and to our partners in community action, LatinX, and Action Health Partners.