Community-Academic Research News
Winter 2018
Partner Spotlight: Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
Starting in 2018, we will launch a new series highlighting the Detroit URC Board partner organizations. We begin in this issue with the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC).  View a complete list of our Board on our website

As a long-standing partner on the Detroit URC Board, the DHDC has guided our work for more than 20 years. “Having been involved with the URC doing CBPR for the past 20+ years has been an amazingly gratifying experience,” said Angela Reyes, Executive Director and Founder of DHDC. “I am convinced that this work has improved and probably saved the lives of many vulnerable adults and children living in Detroit.”
Angela Reyes founded the DHDC in 1997 to create a stable and safe community where youth and families have quality opportunities for self-empowerment, education, and personal wealth. Every year, DHDC serves over 5,000 youth and adults annually by providing quality, innovative and culturally appropriate services, primarily in Southwest Detroit. Programs are led by staff members who were born and raised in Southwest Detroit and come from low-income communities of color. Many DHDC staff members have participated in past DHDC programming, or programs from similar organizations. These hiring practices help to ensure that all program participants will receive quality, culturally-competent services throughout their relationship with DHDC.

Programs offered by DHDC cover a wide range of needs. Youth programs engage young people in the arts and life skills, as well as scholarships for post-secondary education. Family education services, such as English as a Second Language and GED classes, help families thrive. The DHDC Community Organizing department mobilizes community members to work together to address issues of concern in our community and empower them to create change through the power of community organizing.

You can learn more about DHDC’s programs and events by visiting their website at
Community-Based Participatory Research Successes Featured at APHA 2017
The Detroit URC w as pleased to share Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) success stories and study results at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in Atlanta, Georgia, November 2-8, 2017. Slides and posters from Detroit URC presentations, as well as presentations by a number of our affiliated partnerships (i.e., Healthy Environments Partnership, Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments), can be found on our website

Among the highlights of the conference was the session “Capacity building to foster the development of community-university partnerships: lessons learned from the CBPR Partnership Academy.” This session included presentations by the Detroit URC, the FAITH! (Fostering African-American Improvement in Total Health) program, and the East Tacoma Collective Impact Collaborative, CBPR partnerships involved in the Academy based in Rochester and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and Tacoma, Washington, respectively. 

Those in attendance at the session were eager to hear about the community-academic partnerships, and the outcomes they had achieved. Barbara Israel stated: “It was such an inspiration to hear about the accomplishments and lessons learned from members of the Partnership Academy, and to see the well-deserved recognition they received from members in the audience.”

The presentations highlighted the goals and activities of the CBPR Partnership Academy. Chris Coombe noted that the presenters’ “different perspectives and approaches highlighted the value of a nationwide, co-learning network to advance equitable CBPR partnerships." Karen Meyer, who represented the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and presented with David Reyes, of University of Washington Tacoma, reflected that the case studies represented “an excellent way to give attendees a different perspective on the use of CBPR for a longer period of time.”

LaPrincess Brewer and Clarence Jones noted the unique opportunity to share their CBPR approach applied to the FAITH! Program. “It is not often that community representatives, researchers, and the academic community have the opportunity to share their collective works on such a prestigious stage as the APHA Conference” they said. “We left the CBPR presentation energized, more prepared, and ready to move on to the next level in our community engagement project.”
The following partners presented the session “Capacity building to foster the development of community-university partnerships: lessons learned from the CBPR Partnership Academy”:

  • Barbara A. Israel, DrPH, MPH, University of Michigan School of Public Health
  • Chris M. Coombe, PhD, MPH, University of Michigan School of Public Health
  • LaPrincess Brewer, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN
  • R. Clarence Jones, MEd, Hue MAN, Minneapolis, MN
  • David Reyes, DNP, MPH, RN, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
  • Karen Meyer, MA, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Tacoma, WA
Small Planning Grants Awarded
Four community-academic partnerships have been selected to receive grants of up to $5,000 each from the Detroit Urban Research Center (Detroit URC). These grants will support research that improves the health and quality of life of Detroit residents. 

This marks the ninth round of the small planning grant program. We are pleased to acknowledge the support provided this year by the University of Michigan Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Interdisciplinary Academic Affairs and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Communities Engagement Program.

Funded partnerships are:

  • Increasing Purpose in Life among At-Risk Latino Adolescents
  • Partnership Formation in Community-Engaged Work: The Detroit Food Academy
  • Partnership for Transgender Health and Resilience in Detroit
  • Exploring Research Partnership Opportunities: Youth Development Programming Impact on Neighborhood Social Conditions

Grants Awarded to Alleviate Poverty in Michigan
Four collaborative teams of University of Michigan researchers and community partner organizations have been awarded up to $30,000 grants for research projects focused on evaluating and strengthening interventions, programs, and policies that seek to prevent and alleviate poverty in Michigan.

Th is marks the second round of community-academic grants to be awarded through a joint initiative between the Detroit URC and University of Michigan Poverty Solutions. For more information about the first year of this initiative and the work of Poverty Solutions more broadly  read a summary here .

The award-winning projects are:  

  • Overcoming the Chilling Effect: Identifying Strategies for Improving Immigrant Families’ Acceptability and Accessibility to Health and Social Services that Alleviate Poverty
  • Supporting Economic Mobility through Community Mentorship
  • Breaking the Cycle: Refining the Trauma-Informed Clinical Ethnographic Narrative Intervention
  • Assessing the Impact of Intergenerational Asset Building Programming on the Self‐Efficacy, Academic Achievement and College Going Culture of Low‐Income Black and Latino Girls

Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities
  • MICHR Accelerating Synergy Award - Apply by 2/15/18. This new award offers up to $100,000 and is geared toward interdisciplinary research teams proposing to tackle significant and complex problems in translational research. The funding and supplemental support will provide the foundation for future external large-scale proposal submissions. Click here for details.

Our Partners in the News

As the Detroit URC embarks on its third decade of fostering health equity through community-based participatory research (CBPR), we recognize that this important, collective work is only made possible through the ongoing collaboration among these exceptional partner organizations:  Communities In Schools Community Health and Social Services Center Detroit Health Department;   Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation Eastside Community Network Friends of Parkside Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice Latino Family Services Neighborhood Service Organization Institute for Population Health Henry Ford Health System The University of Michigan Schools of  Public Health Nursing and  Social Work . We have quite a team, and we are grateful.