Spring 2022 Newsletter
The Detroit URC hopes that you have stayed healthy and happy! We remain committed to working toward health equity, social justice, and anti-racism practices as we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic. This issue includes information about our annual Networking Social, interviews from two of our new Detroit URC Board members, exciting updates on our Partnership Academy, and accomplishments from our affiliated partnerships and organizations. Learn more about how community-based participatory research (CBPR) is at work in Detroit and beyond!
Save the Date - 2022 Networking Social
Save May 11, 2022, 5-8pm in your calendar for the next Detroit URC Networking Social at the Roostertail, 100 Marquette Dr Detroit MI, 48214, a premier event venue in Detroit! We are delighted to host this annual event in person this year (following public health guidance). Enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres while participating in networking activities with fellow researchers and community leaders. Past participants have shared that the Networking Social provided an opportunity for the following: 

“Seeing old friends and colleagues and hearing what people are doing in the community.” 
“Connecting on a more informal level. Simply eat, talk & discuss our passions.” 
“Meeting new people and making connections.”

Please “Save the Date” - more details and RSVP information forthcoming.

Detroit URC Board Member Spotlights
Welcome Dr. Randy David & Laprisha Daniels!
Welcome Dr. Randy David! A public health administrator, researcher, and advocate, his interests lay at the intersection of population health, research/healthcare administration, public health legislation, and healthcare supply chain logistics. Randy oversees Epidemiology, Communicable Disease, and Investigations at the Detroit Health Department. Prior to his position at the Detroit Health Department, Randy was employed by the University of California. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. He has interests in migrant health, and equitable and ethical representation in genomic/pharmaceutical research. He has worked to improve health in communities in New York, Kansas, Alaska, Michigan, Texas, California, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ethiopia, and other locations.

Welcome Laprisha Daniels! Laprisha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the University of Michigan. She is the current Executive Director of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ). She has over 20 years of public health experience, with 15 of those being in progressively responsible leadership roles, where she has mobilized resources and formed strategic partnerships to develop, implement and evaluate efforts focused on eliminating health disparities.

Detroit URC Projects
CBPR Partnership Academy

Cohort 4 Updates: The CBPR Partnership Academy Cohort 4 teams have been deeply engaged in developing their partnerships in their home communities, with support from their community-academic mentors. The bi-monthly Ongoing Learning Forums to date have delved deeper into partnership development, evaluation, and funding challenges. In January an engaging panel of UM faculty, Riana Anderson, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE), University of Michigan School of Public Health (UM-SPH), and Bill Lopez, Clinical Assistant Professor, HBHE, UM-SPH, facilitated by Enrique Neblett, Professor, HBHE, UM-SPH, and Associate Director, Detroit URC, shared how they use CBPR approaches to address racism. The forums also provide space for teams to share updates on their partnerships and projects and pose issues for peer discussion and feedback. As one participant said in the evaluation, “It’s inspiring to hear what other cohort partnerships are working on - great questions were raised.” Evaluation results are highly positive, such as this comment: “These fora are ALWAYS beneficial. Never is a single session without value or benefit.”
Ongoing Learning Forum, February 2022
January National webinar discussed Pivoting for Success: Using CBPR During the Twin Pandemics: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) partnered with the Detroit URC to host a panel of CBPR practitioners sharing how they’ve pivoted during the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and ongoing institutionalized racism. This virtual roundtable (recording available on linked webpage) discussed challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned during these extreme times for CBPR partners and partnerships working to advance equity. The webinar was facilitated by Al Richmond, Executive Director of CCPH. Panelists included Cohort 2 Partnership Academy community partner Ilima Ho-Lastimosa, Community Coordinator of the Waimānalo Learning Center and founder of God’s Country Waimānalo; E. Yvonne Lewis, Founder/CEO of the National Center for African American Health Consciousness; and Tiffany Alexander, Co-Founder of Pediatrics, PM and CEO of the Tiffany Alexander Group.
Selecting the 5th Cohort: Applications for the next cohort of the CBPR Partnership Academy have recently been reviewed by a panel of 6 community and academic Detroit URC partners. The yearlong training program is for pairs of an academic faculty member and a community partner new to CBPR. 12 two-person teams have been selected for the 2022-23 cohort, which will begin in June. Past participants have been highly diverse representing urban, rural, and tribal communities across the country from coast to coast - including Hawaii! The all-expense paid program kicks off with a weeklong course in July to be held in-person (hopefully!) as public health guidance allows. More information to come in the near future on Cohort 5!

In the News: The CBPR Partnership Academy was highlighted in this month's Partnership for Environmental Public Health Newsletter from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The article spotlights our CBPR capacity building approach and includes links to the work of the Detroit URC and partners - and some nice photos of our incredible team!
Small Planning Grant Program
We are happy to announce that the Detroit URC, in partnership with the U-M School of Social Work and the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research (MICHR), funded 5 new projects as a part of our Small Planning Grant Program. The funding can be used for partnership formation and maintenance and project development. The follow projects have been funded:

  • Tuxedo Project Community Map, led by Rose Gorman, Executive Director of the Tuxedo Project and Maureen Okasinski, Lecturer, UM-SSW: The project’s goal is to complete a baseline community asset mapping project that identifies the Tuxedo neighborhood infrastructure of relationships, institutions, resources, and opportunities.
  • Operationalizing Videovoice to Capture and Communicate Lived Experiences of Safety and Surveillance among Eastside Detroiters, led by Zachary Rowe, Executive Director of Friends of Parkside and Tawanna Dillahunt, Associate Professor, UMSI: The project aims to develop communication norms and decision-making mechanisms, build and provide input on the execution of the research process, and develop best practices for Videovoice methodology.
  • Welcome to the Motor City: Exploring Refugee Resettlement among Afghan Refugees in Detroit and Beyond, led by Shadin Adityeh, Director, Employment & Economic Empowerment Programs at Jewish Family Services and Ashley Cureton, Assistant Professor, UM-SSW: The project seeks to understand the resettlement process among staff and key stakeholders across various resettlement agencies and organizations in Detroit and understand the lived experiences of Afghan refugees who have recently resettled to Detroit and neighboring cities.
  • Enacting Action Goals informed by HOMES Survey: Services and Options for LGBTQ+ Older Adults in Metro Detroit, led by Angela Gabridge, Executive Director of SAGE Metro Detroit and Beth Glover Reed, Associate Professor, UM-SSW: The project aims to increase capacity for assessments and direct interventions for LGBTQ+ older adults in precarious housing and health and engage in collaborative data analyses of a survey of LGBTQ+ older adults, focused on health disparities.
  • Investigating Stream Water Contamination and Prioritizing Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) in the River Rouge Watershed from a Socioecological Perspective, led by Matthew Bertrand, Restoration Coordinator at Friends of the Rouge and Runzi Wang, Assistant Professor, UM-SEAS: The partners aim to examine the impact of urban form, land use type, and demographic characteristics on urban stream water quality, as well as prioritizing GSI locations and types to translate research findings into actions.
Welcome Mary Beth Damm, our new Center Manager
Hello Detroit URC community! I have recently joined the Detroit URC as the Center Manager and wanted to let you know about myself. I have an undergraduate degree from UM and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Ford School at UM, and mainly studied issues with a focus on alleviating poverty and building community. I have worked at the university for 20 years in just two organizations. I was at the Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning as the Associate Director, overseeing all federally funded programs and working extensively with schools and community-based organizations in Ypsilanti and Detroit. I then moved to the College of Engineering as the Director of K-12 engagement, and continued my work in schools in the city, metro Detroit area, and Washtenaw County. I also worked with faculty members integrating science education into their research work.. I’ve done quite a bit of grant writing along the way for university-community based programs and while based at a non-profit in the Boston area.

I look forward to learning more about your work in the Detroit community and your long history of collaboration and partnership fostering health equity in Detroit and around the country.
Partners & Partnership Accomplishments
Small Planning Grantees Funded by NSF
Congratulations Zachary Rowe (Friends of Parkside), Julie Hui (UM School of Information/UMSI), Mustafa Naseem (UMSI), Kentaro Toyama (UMSI), and Tawanna Dillahunt (UMSI)! Their team’s project, “‘Community Tech Workers’: A Community-Driven Model to Support Economic Mobility by Bridging the Digital Divide” was funded for S1.4 million by the National Science Foundation! Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, they piloted a community-based employment model to bridge the digital divide by enabling paid community members to provide digital support within their own communities, funded by the Community-Academic Grant Program sponsored by the Detroit URC and Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. Building on this initial pilot project, this expanded program will be funded by an Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) grant which started in January 2022. We are so happy to see our Detroit URC/Poverty Solutions Grantees go on to such great success!
Eastside Community Network Vaccination & Health Fair
On November 13, 2021, the Eastside Community Network hosted a vaccination and health fair at their Wellness Hub. This event was hosted in partnership with Wayne Health, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Aetna, WSU Black Medical Association, and Michigan CEAL, and over 20 people were vaccinated! In addition to providing COVID-19 vaccinations, the Health Fair also gave attendees access to flu vaccinations, health insurance enrollment assistance, health and wellness screenings, as well as a variety of health and wellness workshops. University of Michigan School of Public Health student Timberlee Whiteus assisted with the Health Fair, and had great things to say about the event, and the importance of encouraging people to get vaccinated: “The event went well. It was really nice to be a part of an “on the ground” event where we could actually interact with the community we’re working for. It was nice to address and confront wellness in other ways. We gave out a lot of educational information surrounding COVID-19, the flu, and their vaccines. We saw that there was a considerable number of vaccinations at the event, and we hope that what we disseminated helped with some of that decision making!”
Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation ¿Vacuna Que?
In partnership with Community Health and Social Services (CHASS), Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC) held their ¿Vacuna Que? event in February 2022. DHDC hosted an educational forum, where nearly 100 parents participated in a live Q&A session with Dr Felix Valbuena, CEO of CHASS. After the Q&A, participants were given the opportunity to sign up for vaccinations. Ultimately, 78 individuals were vaccinated!

The vaccine clinic was part of DHDC’s statewide campaign “MIVacuna” to address vaccine hesitancy in Latino communities across the state. In Detroit, DHDC trained 10 “Promotores de la comunidad”, or Community Health Promoters, to educate their neighbors about the importance of getting vaccinated. The campaign is ongoing and will have future educational forums and vaccine clinics, the next taking place on March 19, 2022.

Our Partners, Affiliates, and Friends in the News
The Michigan Community-Engaged Alliance (MICEAL), a Detroit URC-affiliated partnership funded by the National Institutes of Health is working to address the gap of vaccine and health inequities associated with COVID-19 in predominantly Latinx and Black communities in four Michigan counties (Genesee, Kent, Wayne, Washtenaw). Detroit URC research assistant Haley Crimmins shares details on the process and accomplishments to date of MICEAL's community-based participatory research partnership. Check out the blog post here.

LaPrincess C. Brewer, M.D., M.P.H., FACC, FASPC, FACP, is a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine within the Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Brewer, a past participant of the Detroit URC's Partnership Academy, was recently featured by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities as a researcher advancing health equity. Check out her work partnering with community-based organizations to improve cardiovascular health.
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