The UROC Research Agenda Award Project: A framework for healing, equity, and financial wellbeing

A community-driven, research-based framework for healing, equity, and financial wellbeing

In the spring and summer of 2019, UROC's research staff engaged Northside residents, non-profit leaders, government officials, and University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students in a series of day-long work groups to help identify research topics and questions to guide UROC’s collaborative research focus through 2025. From fall of 2019 through spring of 2020, the summary document was compiled and shared with community groups and University leadership for feedback.

The UROC Research Agenda Award Project is a model of engagement for addressing themes supporting UROC's original mission that community members and University of Minnesota researchers and practitioners identified as being critical to a thriving North Minneapolis and Twin Cities urban core. The agenda and its companion RFP aim to stimulate and guide collaborative research in the three following areas: individual and community healing; systems and systemic racism; and individual, family, and community financial well-being.

Research Areas and Priorities

  1. Community Healing and Wholeness
    Urban residents today are faced with many challenges and difficulties (e.g., historical trauma, marginalization) that have a tremendous effect on the community. Existing research on community healing and wholeness has primarily focused on the development of community healing models and frameworks, and to a lesser extent, the assessment and effectiveness of those models. We hope to add to that body of research with a deeper examination of the role behavioral health, spirituality, and faith practices can play in those interventions.
  2. Systems and Systemic Racism
    Urban communities are complex entities that historically have been shaped by planners and policy makers. At the root of many of these planning and policy practices is racism, and therefore, modern urban communities have had to bear that legacy of discrimination. One of the most salient issues voiced by UROC stakeholders was a need for more critical, multidisciplinary research that focuses on addressing systems that perpetuate racism and systemic racism.
  3. Individual, Family, and Community Financial Wellbeing
    Over the years, conversations about whether our nation is on a sustainable economic path have multiplied and emerged across various disciplines and sectors. Central to this debate is the growing concern around wealth inequality and the increasing racial wealth gap, particularly in urban communities. Similar to racism, research on individual, family, and community financial wellbeing cuts across many sectors and disciplines including housing, higher education, and employment.

Values and Guiding Principles

All research at UROC is conducted by University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students in partnership with a community-based resident, group of residents, or organization. UROC’s community-University partnerships are built on mutual respect and long-term trust – values that have established the culture and foundation upon which we have conducted research at UROC.

All projects addressing the Research Agenda will meet the following principles (detailed in the document):

  • Place-based
—UROC has the unique ability to leverage its place-based location in North Minneapolis and role as an anchor institution.
  • Collaborative
—All research conducted at UROC will be in partnership and collaboration with communities.
  • Intergenerational and Intragenerational—Research will incorporate an intergenerational and intragenerational lens, with particular attention paid to the inclusion of elder and youth voices.
  • Multiple Forms of Knowledge—Research will honor multiple ways of knowing, including various values, beliefs, and lived experiences.
  • Reciprocal Engagement
—Research will foster engagement and learning that is reciprocal for all partners.
  • Wholeness and Intersectionality
—Research will reflect the entirety of the human condition through multiple lenses.