Aliento's Research Institute utilizes a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Model. Both master's and doctoral-level students gain valuable research experience with Latina/o communities to better understand community needs, reduce barriers Latinas/os face in receiving mental health care, and to develop culturally responsive solutions. The center's research institute is invested in working towards the creation of just and culturally congruent outcomes in our research programs, with a particular focus on Latina/o communities.
What Is Community-Based Participatory Research?
Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is conducted as an equal partnership between traditionally trained "experts" and members of a community. In CBPR projects, the community participates fully in all aspects of the research process. CBPR projects start with the community. Community is often self-defined, but general categories of community include geographic community, community of individuals with a common problem or issue, or a community of individuals with a common interest or goal. Equitable partnerships require sharing power, resources, credit, results, and knowledge, as well as a reciprocal appreciation of each partner's knowledge and skills at each stage of the project, including problem definition/issue selection, research design, conducting research, interpreting the results, and determining how the results should be used for action. CBPR differs from traditional research in many ways. One of the principal ways in which it is different is that instead of creating knowledge for the advancement of a field or for knowledge's sake, CBPR is an iterative process, incorporating research, reflection, and action in a cyclical process. We believe this model best suits the center's mission and philosophical foundations to empower and give voice to the voiceless.