Engaging Underrepresented Minorities in Research: Our Vision for a "Research-Friendly Community".


This article introduces our "Research-Friendly Community" vision, placing research in the arena of social justice by giving citizens a voice and opportunity to actively determine research agendas in their community. The mission of Tri-County Rural Health Network, a minority-owned, community-based nonprofit serving 16 counties in Arkansas' Mississippi River Delta region, is to increase access to health-related services and opportunities to both participate in and shape research. Tri-County has built trust with the community through the use of Deliberative Democracy Forums, a model devised by the Kettering Foundation and through a community health worker program called Community Connectors. Over time, a partnership was formed with investigators at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Tri-County serves as a boundary spanner to link community members, other community organizations, local politicians, policy maker, and researchers. We describe our experience for other nonprofits or universities who might want to develop a similar program.

DOI: 10.1353/cpr.2015.0073

Cite this paper

@article{Olson2015EngagingUM, title={Engaging Underrepresented Minorities in Research: Our Vision for a "Research-Friendly Community".}, author={Mary Kay Olson and Naomi Cottoms and Greer Sullivan}, journal={Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action}, year={2015}, volume={9 4}, pages={595-8} }