Chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, disproportionately impact women of color as compared to White women. Community-engaged and participatory approaches are proposed as a means to address chronic disease health disparities in minority communities, as they allow for tailoring and customization of strategies that align with community needs, interests, and priorities. While community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a framework that offers a clear set of principles to guide intervention design and development, the complexity and diversity of community contexts make it challenging to anticipate all of the possible pathways to implementation. This article describes the application of CBPR principles in the design and development of SHE Tribe (She’s Healthy and Empowered), a social network–based healthy lifestyle intervention intended to promote the adoption of sustainable health behaviors in underserved communities. Practical and specific strategies are described to aid practitioners, researchers, and community partners as they engage in community–academic partnerships. These strategies uncover some of the inner workings of this partnership to promote trust and collaboration and maximize partner strengths, with the aim to aid others with key elements and practical steps in the application of participatory methods.
- behavior change
- community-based participatory research
- health research
- program planning and evaluation
- women-s health