Several fields are examining various factors that affect the recruitment and retention of Black women as participants in research. Findings from these studies identified racism and lack of trust as influencing their decision to participate. Thus, investigators are beginning to focus on strategies to build trust, recruit, and retain Black women in research. Rarely are these topics examined intersectionally, particularly as relevant to the recruitment and retention of Black women as participants in research. This limits our ability to gain real and valuable lessons from their lived experiences for knowledge development. However, Black women are becoming more open to sharing their lived experiences with researchers, but are calling for more opportunities and integrated approaches to creating studies that are for them and by them. This approach must be mindful of the contextual factors that are present for Black women as research participants, and represent the diversity within this group of women, in order to be effective.
Drawing upon diverse experiences, this roundtable will focus on a) frameworks that consider contextual factors when conducting research with Black women, b) critical methodologies that undergird the development of knowledge as it relates to Black women, and c) concrete examples from their own research to illustrate how they recruited and engaged Black women in their studies. The first presenter will discuss the application of critical race theory to unpack the underlying stigma that influence the illness and help-seeking narratives of Black women with depression. The second presenter, will highlight how applying the framework intersectionality and using grounded theory supported the recruitment and retention efforts of middle-class Black women into a study examining depression. The final presenter will discuss how Black feminist thought and narrative inquiry were used to understand Black women PhD students' experiences while pursuing a doctoral degree at historically White institutions. By providing diverse examples we hope to encourage conversations, advance understanding of, and build increased attunement to the need for targeted efforts to recruit and retain Black women in research studies. We encourage researchers to take seriously the intersections of race, class, gender, and contextual factors as core to the work they conduct with Black women.