Participatory Action Research in Brooklyn, NY

In 2016, the Performing Provider System (PPS) known as Community Care of Brooklyn (CCB) supported a collaboration between CUNY Medgar Evers College and the NextShift Collaborative, a team of MIT consultants led by Professor J. Phillip Thompson, to build a deeper understanding of the social determinants of cardiovascular health in Brownsville and East New York. I co-managed a team of 28 young adults to engage in a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project to understand the community’s priorities for health creation, guided by a core question: “How do we mobilize the Brownsville and East New York communities to address the social, physical and environmental inequalities that affect health?” Through a survey of 525 residents, the team explored the physical, mental, social, environmental and financial dimensions of health and developed a number of recommendations to lay the foundation for collective action.