Increasing the Voice of African Americans in Research

Institution: Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope
Investigator(s): Kimlin Ashing, Ph.D. -
Award Cycle: 2008 (Cycle 14) Grant #: 14MB-0188 Award: $25,000
Award Type: Joining Forces Conference Award
Research Priorities
Community Impact of Breast Cancer>Disparities: eliminating the unequal burden of breast cancer

Initial Award Abstract (2008)
The proposed conference, sponsored by the Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education (CCARE) at City of Hope Medical Center (COH) is designed to bring together advocates and researchers to advance community participatory breast cancer research focusing on African Americans. However, there is little information for either the researcher or the community-advocate organization on how to establish collaborations, or how to effectively conduct community-based participatory research (CBPR). Further, African American breast cancer survivors experience disparate outcomes including higher mortality and poorer survivorship from breast cancer. Yet, the voice or presence of the African American community in breast cancer research in California is limited. The planning committee for the conference includes advocacy organizations, breast cancer survivors, researchers and policy makers. The conference leadership includes African American breast cancer survivor-advocacy organizations representing Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Moreover, these peer-based, advocacy organizations are also uniquely poised to inform and participate in the research agenda to address the prevention, diagnostic, treatment and quality of life needs of African Americans.

The goal of this conference is to facilitate research collaborations; provide advocate organizations and researchers a forum in which to identify common research questions and interest, as well as provide preliminary training to both researchers and advocate organizations on essential tools for building successful CBPR collaborations. Among the presenters will be survivors, researchers, research funding agencies, and agencies specializing in organizational development. The expected outcome from the conference is the development of long-term collaborations between the African American Breast Cancer Survivor advocacy community and the scientific community in Southern California. The post conference follow-up will include CCARE-COH facilitated meetings between researchers and advocate organizations to nurture the project-idea development and facilitate the submission of research proposals. This working conference brings together breast cancer survivor-advocate organizations and researchers to dialogue and exchange ideas to generate the next set of CBPR proposals with direct benefit for California underserved communities.