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National Community Partner Forum

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Overview & Call for Applications
Registration & Lodging
Planning Team
For More Information

Overview & Call for Applications

Applications are due October 12, 2012 for the 2nd National Community Partner Forum on Community-Engaged Health Disparities Research, December 5-7, 2012 in Washington DC.  Click here for the Call for Applications.

Community engagement in research is central to understanding and addressing racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health.   Research funding agencies are supporting faculty members and institutions to engage communities as partners in conducting research.  As more community organizations enter into research partnerships with institutions­ as well as initiate and conduct research, it is clear that we need our own networks for professional development, mentoring and advocacy in order to advance the social change through knowledge and power sharing that must happen if we are to achieve health equity in this country.

At the inaugural National Community Partner Forum in December 2011 in Boston, an agenda for change emerged: For research to have any hope of moving the needle on health disparities, communities of color and low-income communities need to have (1) power in decisions made about research (2) the capacity and infrastructure to engage as equal research partners with institutions and conduct their own research and (3) significant roles in building the capacity of academic institutions to engage and partner with communities.   As community leaders who are passionate about health equity and social justice, participants quickly came together around the need for research equity and justice - through the co-production of knowledge and building democracy in the shared governance of their partnerships. Inaugural forum participants - 77% people of color and 80% involved in federally funded research - established a leadership structure, formed workgroups for peer learning and resource development and pledged to gather again a year later in Washington DC.

The 2nd National Community Partner Forum seeks to advance community-engaged research as a tool for eliminating health disparities by:

  1. Deepening the knowledge and skills needed by community partners to successfully conduct community-engaged research, negotiate community-academic research partnerships and serve in national leadership roles;
  2. Disseminating innovative work of community partners that others can learn from and build on;
  3. Engaging in constructive dialogue between community partners and key stakeholders in academic, government and philanthropic sectors to foster mutual understanding and supportive action; and
  4. Growing and deepening a national network of community partners that facilitates professional development and has a significant voice in decisions about research practice and policy

The forum agenda is designed to provide time and space for community partners to learn and strategize together as peers before their academic partners and other key stakeholders join the conversation.  On Wednesday December 5th, afternoon skill-building workshops will cover such topics as the basics of community-based participatory research, addressing challenges in partner-based research, applying for and managing research grants, preparing to serve on federal research advisory committees and grant review panels, and developing community IRBs and community research review boards.  On Thursday December 6th, workgroups will report on their progress and engage new community members in determining their future plans.  Small group sessions will tap into the knowledge in the room by drawing out successes, failures, lessons learned and promising practices in community-engaged research.  That evening, academic partners, policy makers and funders will join the forum for a reception and poster session.  On Friday December 7th, community partners will report on their deliberations and engage academic partners, policy makers and funders in a dialogue around the actions that are needed.  The forum will conclude that day at 12 pm.

We are seeking experienced and novice community partners involved in research who are committed to social justice, willing to share their challenges and successes, and eager to both enhance their impact at a local level and contribute to a broader research and advocacy agenda.  Individuals from community-based organizations are especially encouraged to apply.   Community partners who are involved in partnerships with academic institutions are encouraged to invite an academic partner to apply to attend the forum evening reception and poster session on Thursday December 6th and the dialogue on Friday December 7th.   Only applications from academic partners that have a corresponding community partner application will be considered. 

In making final selections, we will strive for diversity among participants in terms of their geographic location, race/ethnicity and research experience. In order to maximize opportunities for dialogue, active learning and subsequent action, the forum will be limited to about 150 community-based participants and 50 academic partners, policy makers and funders.  Applicants will be notified on the status of their applications no later than November 1st.

Registration & Lodging

Registration for all forum participants is free of charge, supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.  A block of rooms is being held at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue NW in Washington DC at the government rate of $183 plus­ tax for a single or double room. To make your hotel reservation, please call the hotel toll-free at 1-800-321-3010 and indicate that you are attending the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health conference.  To receive the discounted rate, you must make your reservation no later than midnight on Friday November 16, 2012. Assistance will be provided to connect participants who would like to share a room.

Limited scholarship funds will be available for selected community partners who would otherwise be unable to attend.  Information on how to apply will be provided when application decisions are sent out.  We are also happy to provide official letters of invitation or other documentation that may help in raising funds to attend the forum; requests may be submitted by email.  We encourage our allies in academic institutions, government and philanthropy to consider supporting community partner travel expenses to the extent possible.  Individuals and organizations that provide such support will be recognized by name on the forum website and in the forum program with their permission.


Community-Campus Partnerships for Health: A national non-profit organization founded in 1996, CCPH promotes health equity and social justice through partnerships between communities and academic institutions.   We view health broadly as physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being and emphasize partnership approaches to health that focus on changing the conditions and environments in which people live, work and play.  Our strategic goals are to:

  • Leverage the knowledge, wisdom and experience in communities and in academic institutions to solve pressing health, social, environmental and economic challenges
  • Ensure that community-driven social change is central to the work of community-academic partnerships
  • Build the capacity of communities and academic institutions to engage each other in partnerships that balance power, share resources, and work towards systems change

Our members - a diverse group of over 2,000 individuals affiliated with community organizations, colleges and universities, health care delivery systems, student service organizations, foundations and government - are advancing these goals in their work on a daily basis.  CCPH is governed by a board of directors that reflects the diverse constituencies we serve. What ties us together is our commitment to social justice and our passion for the power of partnerships to transform communities and academe. 

Center for Community Health Education Research and Service: CCHERS is a community-based organization that is a community/academic partnership established in 1991 with a $6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Partnerships in Health Professions Education initiative. The partnership is comprised of Boston Medical Center, the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston University School of Medicine, Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Sciences and an established network of fifteen community health centers (FQHC) serving the racially and ethnically diverse populations of the City. Northeastern University serves as its host institution and sustaining partner.  The mission of CCHERS is to promote the development of “academic community health centers,” that integrate education, research, and service, to influence and change health professions education; improve health care delivery; and promote health systems change to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health.

National Institutes of Health: Funding for the forum is made possible (in part) by 1R13MD007569-01 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences awarded to Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and the Center for Community Health Education Research and Service. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Planning Team

Planning Committee

Willie Mae Bennett-Fripp, Executive Director, Committee for Boston Public Housing, Boston, MA

Grace Damio, Director of Research and Service Initiatives, Hispanic Health Council, Hartford, CT

Susan Gust, Community Activist & Small Business Owner, Minneapolis, MN

Ernest Hopkins, Founder & CEO, The Phoenix Group Foundation, Atlanta, GA

Loretta Jones, Founder & CEO, Healthy African American Families, Los Angeles, CA

Ogonnaya Dotson Newman, Director of Environmental Health, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE-ACT), New York, NY

Ann-Gel Palermo, Chair, Harlem Community & Academic Partnership, New York, NY

Fernando Pineda-Reyes, Executive Director, Community, Research, Education & Awareness (CREA) Results, Denver, CO

Alex Pirie, Coordinator, Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health, Somerville, MA

Angela Reyes, Executive Director, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Detroit, MI 

Al Richmond, Director, Healthy Workplace Initiatives, North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development, Durham, NC

Zachary Rowe, Executive Director, Friends of Parkside, Detroit, MI

Jean Schensul, Senior Scientist & Founding Director, Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT

Raquel Trinidad, Member, Institutional Review Board, Special Service for Groups, Los Angeles, CA

Eric Wat, Director, Research and Evaluation Unit, Special Service for Groups, Los Angeles, CA

Gayle M. Woodsum, President, Action Resources International, Laramie  WY

Principal Investigators

Elmer Freeman, Executive Director, Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Boston, MA

Sarena D. Seifer, Executive Director, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, Seattle, WA

Consultants & Staff

Nancy Shore, Associate Professor, University of New England School of Social Work and Senior Consultant, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health

Faye Ziegeweid, Administrative Coordinator, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health

For More Information

If you have any questions or would like to be added to the forum email list, please email us.


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