8.1.1 Overview: There is a long-standing appreciation within the tradition of public health of the importance of community participation in the research process. Unfortunately, there is also a long and inexcusable history discrimination or even abuse of minority subjects in research. The history of the Tuskegee experiments involving African American men continues to strongly influence the relationship between the research and the African American communities. There is little doubt that recent publicity concerning apparent human subjects violations in gene trials, clinical research, and community-based research have only further contributed to the suspicion and mistrust of research investigators, particularly in communities of color. It can be argued that this issue is even more urgent for those of us focused on child health disparities because of heightened concerns regarding the participation of vulnerable infants, children, and adolescents in research. Therefore, this Center's commitment to reducing child health disparities requires robust community engagement. Specifically, in order to reduce child health disparities and improve the health of minority children, it is essential that we sustain, nurture, and expand our collaboration with local communities. This commitment to improving health in disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities is integral to the maturing research and training focus of our proposed Healthy Children for a Healthy Future: a Collaborative Health Disparities Research Center of Excellence (HC4HF COE).

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