Core B, Community Engagement Core: The Community Engagement Core (CEC) will foster the bi- directional exchange of knowledge among researchers and community stakeholders. We will build on the history of constructive engagement with this community that has led to a choice of research projects for the Penn-SRP which reflects community priorities. In our activities we will work in partnership with identified stakeholder groups for the Ambler and Bo-Rit superfund sites and surrounding communities. We will identify information needs for each stakeholder group, including the economically disadvantaged and environmental justice (EJ) communities in close proximity to the site. We will provide information on the needs and perspectives of different groups to facilitate constructive understanding of differing points of view. To reduce confusion, blame, anxiety and mistrust we will facilitate engagement and information exchange among the diverse and relevant constituencies in the Ambler area by creating opportunities for constituent groups, including government agencies, to learn from each other. A Stakeholder Advisory Board with strong community participation will help guide our activities. Tools for maintaining communication with the community will include a website, quarterly newsletter, a yearly report, presentations at community events and community fora. We will identify and respond to changing research priorities as the superfund and remediation processes unfold. . Community fora will be used to help generate research priorities and to transmit scientific findings. We will develop information and messages and use communication channels appropriate for each constituent group within the community, reflecting the economic, racial and ethnic diversity. The CEC will work closely with each of the 6 research projects, ensuring bidirectional information flow. We will work closely with the Research Translation Core to maximize mutual understanding by Government agencies and of community constituents of implications of research findings and of each other's perspectives. We will help provide access to the site and to community constituents for trainees in the Interdisciplinary Training Core to help develop understanding of the diversity of constituent interests and to improve their understanding of the priorities and needs of each group. We will maintain a database of current and former Ambler residents who would like to volunteer to help in CEC activities or participate in Penn-SRP research. The reach, penetration and actions that result from CEC activities will be formally evaluated.

Public Health Relevance

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) will identify community priorities for asbestos related research and will foster the bi-directional exchange of knowledge among researchers and community stakeholders. The CEC will identify appropriate and effective methods for the communication of risk information to each stakeholder group including the economically disadvantaged and environmental justice communities in close proximity to the site. Increased education, information exchange and appropriate communication will lead to greater public understanding and acceptance of remediation, improved science directed at issues of public concern, enhanced community capacity, and public actions to reduce future risk from asbestos.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Hazardous Substances Basic Research Grants Program (NIEHS) (P42)
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