Session: Examining Participatory Approaches to Youth & Community-Led Health Promotion Strategies through a Critical Race Theory Lens (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

All live presentations are in Eastern time zone.

42 Examining Participatory Approaches to Youth & Community-Led Health Promotion Strategies through a Critical Race Theory Lens

Wednesday, January 20, 2021: 2:45 PM-3:45 PM
Cluster: Communities and Neighborhoods
Catalina Tang Yan, MS, Boston University, Noelle Dimitri, MSW, Boston University, Greer Hamilton, Boston University and Adrienne Young, Boston University
Youth and Community-Based Participatory approaches to research, intervention, and policy are essential in reducing racial and health inequities. Partnering with youth and community stakeholders in all decision-making processes including research design, action, and inquiry, provides researchers and community stakeholders with opportunities for co-learning and capacity building processes which attend to multiple locally relevant determinants of health. Despite growing scholarship on Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), limited attention has been given to the extent which health institutions have systematically integrated CBPR approaches to engage youth and community stakeholders in the design and implementation of health promotion initiatives. Further, it remains unclear how these institutions have integrated CBPR's core principles addressing issues of racism, power, and oppression.

This roundtable will explore the importance of contesting power through a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework within participatory approaches to research and action. Panelists will share field experiences and relevant research to inform social work practice, research, and training.

The first panelist will present an overview of CBPR and CRT within the context of health science research. The topics will include: 1) CBPR principles, 2) CRT tenets, and 3) Social Determinants of Health. The panelist will discuss health institutions' efforts to engage youth and community stakeholders in health promotion strategies and the limited attention given to racial inequities in these settings.

The second panelist will discuss Youth Advisory Boards (YAB) as participatory processes to engage in youth-adult partnerships across social institutions, and increasingly in healthcare. Limited research has synthesized recommendations, challenges and benefits of YABs. The panelist will present practice tools for assessing organizational readiness based on evidence-based YAB readiness criteria and recommend best practices for equitable and holistic YAB processes where power is shared between organizations and young people.

The third panelist will discuss Photovoice methodology as a participatory tool providing opportunities for patients coping with chronic illnesses, including diabetes, to connect socially and improve disease self-management skills. Visually narrating the disease process using Photovoice can empower marginalized groups whose voices have been absent or silenced by the medical system. Despite the benefits of Photovoice and other CBPR research methods, medical systems often assume the role of gatekeepers and may be reluctant to partner with researchers.

The fourth panelist will present an overview of a partnership between an academic medical institution and community stakeholders that sought to engage youth of color in health assessments. This case presents the opportunity to explore possibilities, limitations, and recommendations of engaging youth of color in health promotion strategies through a critical race lens that contests power imbalances.

This roundtable will contribute to existing scholarly discussions by stimulating conversations to promote understanding of shared practices, research, and experiences in the field. Further, this roundtable will provide opportunities for social work scholars and practitioners to grapple with the challenges, implications, and practices of introducing youth and community-based participatory approaches to advance the field in health science research grounded in social work's values of social and racial justice.

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