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Leveling the Playing Field for Community Stakeholders: Examining Practices to Improve Engagement and Address Power Dynamics

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Non-scientist community stakeholders (“community stakeholders”) are an integral part of the translational research process. The knowledge they possess illuminates the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts from which participants and collaborators are drawn. In particular, the complex interaction of environment and history and their influence on the attitudes and perceptions of underrepresented populations should be understood, valued, and articulated in order to establish a meaningful relationship for all parties. However, this can only happen when those engaged in the research process understand and utilize effective strategies for community engagement and the management of power dynamics. In this chapter we explore approaches for expanding community engagement, including several strategies that use critical race theory as a framework for improving the equitable distribution of decision-making power. We also provide authentic reflections by members from each of our community-facing advisory boards, the Integrating Underrepresented Populations in Research Steering Committee and the Stakeholder Expert Panel, to highlight the community stakeholder perspective on the research process from inception to dissemination of results.


  • Equitable distribution of decision-making power
  • Community stakeholder perspective
  • Community research advisory boards
  • Linguistic capital

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Correspondence to Sara Folta .

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Folta, S., Hudson, L.B., Cohen, B., Cátala, A. (2022). Leveling the Playing Field for Community Stakeholders: Examining Practices to Improve Engagement and Address Power Dynamics. In: Lerner, D., Palm, M.E., Concannon, T.W. (eds) Broadly Engaged Team Science in Clinical and Translational Research. Springer, Cham.

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