(Community Engagement Core) The Community Engagement Core (CEC) purpose is to develop an education delivery format that promotes inclusivity and awareness with the general aim of increasing research participation and retention of local citizens through collaborations between community residents and the RCMI faculty. Our population in the Tuskegee/Macon County area is primarily low income and African American, a group that reports high rates of distrust in scientific exploration and in healthcare delivery. We hypothesize that residents connect with research by understanding how scientific outcomes affect them. Therefore, in our Specific Aims, we are proposing an education dissemination strategy that begins at the community-level.
The specific aims i nclude the following:
Specific Aim 1 : Convene a council of community representatives and RCMI faculty to complete a needs assessment containing community-based recommendations for dissemination of effective obesity and HIV education.
Specific Aim 2 : Engage residents in town hall meetings serving as a medium for dissemination of faculty research. Measure the effectiveness of these meetings through surveys. Compare survey outcomes.
Specific Aim 3 : Develop a model of optimal participation based on the scientific assessment of town hall meetings.
Specific Aim 4 : Promote community-engaged, interdisciplinary learning and mentorship. To facilitate the aims, our research will leverage the organizational resources of local community foundations and human capital resources from Tuskegee University. We will also empower a group of Health Equity Resource Officers (HERO) to serve as liaisons between the community and research faculty.