Engaging the Community. True community engagement will come about by researchers at the Center working with the community and its leadens, from inception to implementation to evaluation to dissemination to sustainability. We intend to work with communities on all of these levels. In each case we will conduct community focus groups, make presentations to the partner communities at the eariiest possible stages and meaningfully engage all possible community based organizations like religious institutions, schools and PTAs, and local health agencies. All of these activities will be interactive and will not involve the researchers on the project telling the communities what we will be doing. Each of the three projects will, with initially engaged community partners, create oversight/advisory committees. These will meet formally on a quarterly basis and will informally touch bases constantly for the duration of the project. Community input will thus be provided continuously and collaboration (engagement) will be implemented consciously as a priority. As McLeroy and his colleagues have noted "community-based" interventions have viewed the community in several ways: as setting, target, resource and agent^^ Our emphasis for this Centerwill be on the latter two categories. Some people seem to view engaging the community as charity work. We believe that it is mandatory and the only way to succeed and the main way to increase the likelihood of sustainability.
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