Examining Community Engagement Research Strategies Used in Flint, Michigan: The Church Challenge

Online Publication Date:
March 21, 2022
Publication Status:
Published Article MUSE Link:
Manuscript PDF File:

**Forthcoming in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 17.2. All rights reserved.**

ABSTRACT Background: The ways in which researchers may need to adapt traditional community-based participatory research engagement strategies during ongoing community trauma are understudied. We describe our efforts to engage the Flint, Michigan community in community-based participatory research in the aftermath of the Flint Water Crisis. Objectives: This manuscript describes (1) recruitment strategies selected prior to the Flint Water Crisis, (2) engagement lessons learned in the context of the Flint Water Crisis, and (3) barriers and facilitators encountered while engaging African-American churches. Methods: Researchers collaborated with community partners to engage and recruit a traumatized Flint community into the Church Challenge, a multilevel intervention to reduce chronic disease burden. Lessons Learned: Recruitment and engagement strategies must be flexible, innovative, and may require nontraditional methods. Conclusions: Flexibility and adaptability are crucial for engaging with a traumatized community. Community-based participatory research work in traumatized communities must acknowledge and respond to community trauma to be successful.