Project GRACE: A Staged Approach to Development of a Community--Academic Partnership to Address HIV in Rural African American Communities
Adimora, A. A.
Lloyd, S. W.
Corbie-Smith, G. and Adimora, A. A. and Youmans, S. and Muhammad, M. and Blumenthal, C. and Ellison, A. and Akers, A. and Council, B. and Thigpen, Y. and Wynn, M. and Lloyd, S. W. (2011) Project GRACE: A Staged Approach to Development of a Community--Academic Partnership to Address HIV in Rural African American Communities. Health Promotion Practice, 12 (2). p. 293.
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The HIV epidemic is a health crisis in rural African American communities in the Southeast United States; however, to date little attention has been paid to community-academic collaborations to address HIV in these communities. Interventions that use a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to address individual, social, and physical environmental factors have great potential for improving community health. Project GRACE (Growing, Reaching, Advocating for Change and Empowerment) uses a CBPR approach to develop culturally sensitive, feasible, and sustainable interventions to prevent the spread of HIV in rural African American communities. This article describes a staged approach to community-academic partnership: initial mobilization, establishment of organizational structure, capacity building for action, and planning for action. Strategies for engaging rural community members at each stage are discussed; challenges faced and lessons learned are also described. Careful attention to partnership development has resulted in a collaborative approach that has mutually benefited both the academic and community partners.