**Publsihed in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 17.3. All rights reserved.**
Background: Black and Latino communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and we sought to understand perceptions and attitudes in four heavily impacted NJ counties to develop and evaluate engagement strategies to enhance access to testing. Objective: To establish a successful academic/community partnership team during a public health emergency by building upon longstanding relationships and using principles from community engaged research. Methods: We present a case study illustrating multiple levels of engagement, showing how we successfully aligned expectations, developed a commitment of cooperation, and implemented a research study, with community-based and healthcare organizations at the center of community engagement and recruitment. Lessons Learned: This paper describes successful approaches to relationship building including information sharing and feedback to foster reciprocity, diverse dissemination strategies to enhance engagement, and intergenerational interaction to ensure sustainability. Conclusions: This model demonstrates how academic/community partnerships can work together during public health emergencies to develop sustainable relationships.