Community Engagement Groups

Community Partners and Ambassadors

Community Partners are representatives of external organizations. Community Ambassadors are individual members of the community that do not represent an organization. Both connect and collaborate with the Equity and Community Engagement (ECE) Core to identify new, innovative partnerships and generate collaborative ideas and opportunities to pursue jointly with CHAI. All community partners and ambassadors are invited to join our semi-annual Assemblies.

Some of the benefits of becoming a Community Partner or Ambassador at CHAI:

  • Develop new collaborations and network with other agencies in the community whose work aligns with that of your organization
  • Participate in and access latest research findings
  • Learn about research and education opportunities
  • Collaborate with CHAI leadership to create new education, research and/or engagement opportunities that directly benefit your organization and the community you serve
  • Connect with students looking for community-service opportunities 

Depending on our partners’ and ambassadors’ interest and experiences in aging services and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, there are additional ways to actively engage in CHAI’s work.

If you are interested in becoming a community partner or ambassador, please email

View Current CHAI Community Partners & Ambassadors

Equity and Community Engagement Committee

Community Partners can join CHAI’s Equity and Community Engagement (ECE) Committee. Advancing health equity for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBT and other under-served aging communities is core to CHAI’s mission. CHAI is committed to advancing health equity by establishing vibrant community, governmental, business, and individual collaborations to promote healthy aging for Minnesotans and people across the country.

The committee shares research, best practices, and innovations to advance health equity. By focusing on BIPOC, LGBTQ and other underserved communities, the group seeks to:

  • Examine research with a equity, cultural, and anti-racism lens
  • Disseminate and translate research findings to improve quality of care and quality of life
  • Share best practices and innovations in care delivery to advance health equity 
  • Share community engagement models and culturally specific success stories and learnings to improve access, usage, and health outcomes
  • Gain insights and resources from evidence-based research, promising practices, and peer networking to expand program and services reach, responsiveness and impact in BIPOC, LGBTQ, and underserved communities

Community, nonprofit and government agencies and businesses with emerging DEI strategies.

Organizations developing new culturally specific programs and/or expanding their reach in diverse communities.

The Equity and Community Engagement will meet quarterly as a group for about 90 minutes. We are seeking members who can make at least a one-year commitment.

Interested in our Equity and Community Engagement Committee? Apply to join online 

Community Advisory Board

Advancing health equity for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBT and other under-served aging communities is core to CHAI’s mission. We are committed to building and nurturing ongoing, authentic community relationships that are mutually beneficial. CAB members play a critical role in connecting CHAI with the cultural communities to ensure responsiveness & accountability to their needs and priorities.

The purpose of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) is to support and strengthen the mission and strategic direction of CHAI by providing advice and informed guidance to advance health equity for aging BIPOC, LGBTQ and underserved communities.

To achieve our vision, we root all our work in equity and diversity to support BIPOC, LGBT, older adults with disabilities and other underserved, underrepresented, and marginalized communities. We invite individual members from these communities to apply for the CHAI Community Advisory Board (CAB).

Being a CAB member provides the unique opportunity to

  • Co-create a model for community-university collaboration that identifies community needs and priorities and matches them with UMN resources and talent.
  • Raise awareness of UMN and CHAI research and assets available to the community.
  • Inform educational priorities and share information on training and program opportunities.
  • Prioritize equity-focused aging research/activities and share input on community engagement.
  • Identify Master’s level or other students interested in aging at the University to provide support on CAB member projects or initiatives related to aging under supervision of CHAI leadership.
  • Create formal community-based collaborations/partnerships with University research teams that, if successful, will result in formal, funded agreements.
  • Access aging research findings to promote healthy aging and quality of care and life .
  • Network with a peer-group of DEI experts and cultural providers to support your programs.
  • Highlight your formal affiliation with CHAI and University of Minnesota with personal and organizational acknowledgement and url link on CHAI website.
  • Receive a stipend for your participation on the CAB.

CAB members will have the opportunity to actively participate in CHAI in a variety of ways. They may be asked to take part in one of more of the following activities:

  • Members will be expected to attend up to five meetings during the first year. The meeting dates and locations will be determined by group members. We anticipate a mixture of virtual and in- person meetings based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UMN guidelines.
  • Provide feedback to CHAI in a variety of areas (e.g. recruitment of new faculty, strategic plan, community engagement, priorities for the Research and Education cores, etc.)
  • Participate in and contribute to workgroups the CAB identifies.
  • Identify and access funding sources for equity-focused projects.
  • Connect students and researchers with equity-based, aging-related projects.
  • Facilitate new connections between the University, CHAI and community-based organizations.
  • Obtain community feedback to inform aging and diversity policy statements and recommendations.

We have extended the application deadline until September 15, 2021. Applications submitted after this date will be retained and reviewed during the following application period or sooner, if the need arises. If you are not selected to serve on the CAB, we will seek to match your interests with opportunities on our Equity and Community Engagement Committee and/or special events including research and educational opportunities.

You can apply for the CAB in several ways:
Online: Complete online application
Via email: Complete the PDF application form (Spanish version) and email it to
By mail: Print this form and send to:

Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation
Attn: Elma Johnson
420 Delaware St S.E.
D351 Mayo Memorial Building,
Division of Health Policy and Management
Minneapolis, MN 55455

If you have any questions or need assistance with the application, please email us at or call Elma Johnson at 612-625-8954.

Interested in our Community Advisory Board? Apply to join online

Academic Advisory Council

Advancing health equity for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBT and other under-served aging communities is core to CHAI’s mission. Our Academic Advisory Council (AAC) brings together scholars and thought leaders in research, teaching and science of aging and health equity.

Academic Advisory Council Informs and shapes strategic priorities of the Equity and Community Engagement Core by:

  • Contributing cultural expertise
  • Sharing research on inequities, reducing disparities and advancing equity
  • Exploring innovations improving quality of care and life for diverse populations
  • Translating research into practice by identifying opportunities (policy, programs, and quality of care) to dismantle racist systems
  • Discussing promising practices and innovations in health outcomes for BIPOC, LGBTQ, and underserved communities
  • Providing review and feedback on Strategic Plan

UMN associates (faculty, researcher, staff, postdoctoral fellows, PhD. candidates and Alumni). Faculty is inclusive of Professor Emeritus and retired academics.

External faculty and scholars with expertise in aging services, DEI, cultural community engagement, health equity, and anti-racism research, intervention, programs or policy.

CHAI will meet with each member of the council individually once a year to ensure timely communications and achievement of mutual benefit.

The Academic Advisory Council will meet twice a year as a group for 90 minutes. We are seeking members who can make at least a two-year commitment.

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