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At the AAMC Center for Health Justice, we believe that the process of engagement (how we work with communities) is just as important as the product (what comes out of this work).

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Centering our work in community wisdom and expertise is a fundamental commitment of the Center. One way the center engages and learns from diverse communities across the US is through our AAMC Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community engagement is “the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people. It is a powerful vehicle for bringing about environmental and behavioral changes that will improve the health of the community and its members. It often involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices.”

The spectrum of community involvement ranges from providing the community with information to power-sharing between institutions and community members.

Increasing Level of Community Involvement, Impact, Trust, and Communication Flow Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Principles of Community Engagement (2nd ed.). Atlanta, GA: CDC/ATSDR Committee on Community Engagement; 2011.

Learn more about how community engagement can be operationalized across the missions of academic medicine.