Community Projects

Through the Fall, 2021 and Spring, 2022 academic semesters, the Equity and Community Engagement Core of CHAI partnered with three students in the Public Health and Administration MPH Program (PHAP): Raquel Motachwa, Mackenzie Heck, and Parker Anderson. These three students and CHAI collaborated on what became an exciting group Master’s thesis, “Academic Community Engagement Model Grounded in Equity, Community Partnerships, and an Asset-Based Approach to Collaboration.” Following a literature review of existing community-academic engagement models, a secondary analysis of interviews with CHAI community partners and stakeholders, and a review of existing University of Minnesota resources, the project team recommended a community-academic engagement model to guide CHAI’s ongoing and robust equity and engagement initiatives. The adaptive logic model developed as part of this project will help to advance CHAI’s commitments to community-centeredness.  To read their thesis, please see here.

In Fall of 2021, the Equity and Community Engagement Core of CHAI served as a key liaison matching Centro Tyrone Guzman, with four students (Elizabeth Mejicano, Emily Olinger, Audrianna Goodwin, & Ira Singhal) in the Program Evaluation course (PA 5311) offered in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Centro Tyrone Guzman is an active Community Partner of CHAI and expressed interest in evaluating their Manos Montessori Microenterprise program (an intergenerational initiative that has participants from diverse age groups jointly create and sell handmade products). Working with Robbin Frazier and Elma Johnson of CHAI’s Equity and Community Engagement Core, Elizabeth, Emily, Audrianna, and Ira were able to use their group project assignment of PA 5311 to develop a detailed logic model and evaluation plan for Centro. The final report of this effort is available here

The student team (Emily, Audrianna, Elizabeth, and Ira) provided the following quote summarizing their experience: “Coming into this program evaluation, it was important for us to listen, honor, and uplift Centro Tyrone Guzman in a way that was meaningful to us and hopefully to everyone else involved.  Establishing a relationship based on mutual understanding of the things mentioned above, and more, was important for us to remember as we engaged in this semester-long process. We hope that others can foster positive relationships that help change the narrative in how evaluations are conducted, centering the people most affected by the research. Building connections like those Centro makes with the communities they serve, and the ones we made with them, are the kinds of actions that foster positive environments for future generations.”

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