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News & Info

Community Science Featured on PBS for SNAP Program Evaluation

Led by Community Science Principal Associate Ricardo Millett and Senior Associate LaKeesha Woods, and reported at pbs.org, the Healthy Food Incentives Cluster Evaluation found that when farmers markets incentivize the use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, the consumption of fruits and vegetables increases.

The study looked at "matched-dollar" incentive programs at more than 500 farmers markets in 24 states and the District of Columbia to see if people using SNAP, which provides financial assistance to low-income families, would purchase healthier options.

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Community Science Gives Back

Charitable giving, community service, and pro-bono assistance were a big part of 2013.

In what has become a twice-yearly tradition - and the highlight of our giving - Community Science staff volunteered both time and effort to A Wider Circle. It's a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Silver Spring, MD that helps move people out of poverty through dignified assistance with professional clothing, toys, home furnishings, job preparation, and relationship building.

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Community Science Wins SBIR Grant

Community Science wins Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for new product to promote cross-cultural and linguistic competency (CLC) to reduce health disparities.

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Principal Associate Kien Lee wins Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology

As the Society for Community Research and Action's (SCRA) 2013 Biennial Conference, "Communal Thriving: Pursuing Meaning, Justice and Well-Being," came to a close at the University of Miami, Dr. Lee was called to the stage to accept the American Psychological Association's (APA) Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology.

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Senior Associate LaKeesha Woods co-authors article for American Journal of Public Health

This article, entitled "The Role of Prevention in Promoting Continuity of Health Care in Prisoner Reentry Initiatives," evaluates the Connecticut Building Bridges Community Reentry Initiative. It   presents an evidence-based framework for prevention that aims to improve the lives of returning citizens, their families and communities.  The framework helps proactively identify barriers and environmental triggers that might threaten these individuals' successful reintegration. The recommended approach suggests the need for a more holistic treatment of health needs for these populations, as well as a heightened awareness of the risks related to their reentry into society.

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Community Science Works With Clients to Build Cross-Cultural Competencies

Community Science works with all our clients to translate the understanding of context, described above, into a comprehensive strategy to strengthen individuals', organizations', and systems' capacity to effectively serve diverse children, youth, adults, and families. The following efforts are just a few examples of the impact of cross-cultural competency on reducing health disparities, achieving health equity, promoting social justice, and improved systems of care.

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Making it Count Through Coordination and Collaboration

Community Science helps build strong community infrastructure by supporting Systems of Care

 Change is rarely an individual effort. In order to shift even the simplest process, multiple stakeholders must be involved, working collaboratively to ensure that no needs are left unmet. Unfortunately, it's far easier in theory than it is in practice. For youth- and family-serving systems, achieving this goal means working with their counterparts in other agencies and organizations to coordinate - and integrate - services available for children and youth in the multiple systems, and those at risk of behavioral and other health challenges.

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Research & Development at Community Science

Community Science has a 15 year history in the research and development of products and strategies that help develop healthy, just and equitable communities. Our current research and development efforts are focused on three important products:

* JourneyStart - a unique on-line assessment and action tool for health-related and other organizations focusing on an organization's readiness to examine its cross-cultural competency and take action.  JourneyStart focuses on an organization’s policies, procedures, and practices and provides advice on how to strengthen the organization’s cross-cultural capacity, not the individuals within the organization.
* ChangeThinkers - an on-line "space" for grantees and others to share ideas and best practices, get help and find resources in order to create a learning community.
* Strength of Community Workshop and Toolkit - an assessment and action kit that builds on our internationally used Sense of Community Index-2 to help funders, government agencies, and community groups learn how strong a community they have and how to strengthen it even further.

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Featured Video

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Additional Videos (click the titles)

Leadership in a Community

Why is Community So Important?

The 5 Cs - What does it take to create community?


Addressing Health Disparities Through Organizational Change-Evaluation Report (4/19/2012)

In 2006, The Colorado Trust funded 14 organizations to improve their cultural competency in order to strengthen their capacity to reduce health disparities.  Community Science was engaged to evaluate the initiative, specifically assessing: 1) changes in cultural competency among grantees, 2) the influence of cultural competency changes on grantee interventions and short -term outcomes, 3) factors and conditions needed to bring about positive changes in organizational cultural competency, and 4) grantee progress and accomplishments over time.  

Click "Continue Reading" below to go to final evaluation report.

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Scope, Scale, and Sustainability: What It Takes to Create Lasting Community Change

How can we address complex social problems in communities and make an impact on a larger scale? By changing institutions' policies and practices, and developing new strategies that address root causes of social problems. Community Science' David M. Chavis, Ph.D. and Tina R. Trent, M.A., (now with NeighborWorks America) co-authored Scope, Scale, and Sustainability: What It Takes to Create Lasting Community Change,  published in the inaugural issue of The Foundation Review.

In the study, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, eleven completed community change initiatives (CCI) were analyzed to better understand what had been learned from these initiatives about how to reach the scope, scale, and sustainability needed to achieve lasting community change.

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Strategic Factors for Building Community: The Five Cís Community, Connections, Control, Cash, & Collective Action

This brief report describes the strategic factors for stimulating community -wide health and well-being. It illustrates how each of the Five C’s “can be put together to develop an effective, broad-reaching, and sustainable community development strategy”.

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The Importance of Culture in Evaluation



The Importance of Culture in Evaluation, a publication funded by The Colorado Trust, provides insights to help guide the complex dynamics between evaluators, funders and stakeholders of different cultures. The report provides examples of where cross-cultural competency is critical in evaluation and recommends questions and strategies that an evaluator should consider when practicing this form of cultural competency. 


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Safe Start- Principles for Engaging and Retaining Families in Services

This report was developed by Community Science for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for the Safe Start Initiative. It describes the promising principles for engaging and retaining families in non-mandated services.

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About Community Science   

Community Science is a research and development organization that works with governments, foundations, and non-profit organizations on solutions to social problems through community and other systems changes.  Community Science’s goal is to strengthen the science and practice of community change in order to build healthy, just and equitable communities.  Our services include research and evaluation services, capacity-building products and services, and initiative management and support.