Community-engaged research to develop a Chicago violence research agenda and recommendations to support future community engagement

Alexander Ellyin*, Kelli Day, Jacqueline Samuel, Tami Bartell, Dion McGill, Karen Sheehan, Rebecca Levin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chicago has a history of gun violence with some neighborhoods, particularly Black and Brown communities, being disproportionately affected and Black male youth experiencing an even more disparate impact. Too often, violence prevention research is developed and carried out with little or no input from the people living in the most affected communities. The objective of the Community-Academic Collaboration to Prevent Violence in Chicago (CACPVC) was to bring together individuals from impacted communities with academic researchers and other community stakeholders to discuss violence and co-create a research agenda that addresses topics of mutual concern, and recommendations for engaging stakeholders including community members and organizations and funders in violence and violence prevention research. Methods: From 2014 to 2015, community members and organizations from seven defined regions across Chicago were recruited to participate. An organization network gathering was held in each region for researchers, funders, and community organization representatives to discuss violence prevention. Open community forums then took place in each community. Violence data by region was shared followed by facilitated group discussions that were recorded by youth scribes. Notes were thematically coded, grouped, and compiled after which a list of topics was refined by the CACPVC Work Group, allowing for investigator triangulation. A survey was disseminated to community stakeholders to prioritize the topics. Results: Seven network gatherings (127 attendees) and community forums (133 attendees) were held. Topic areas identified during the gatherings and forums included root causes/cycle of violence, racism and bias/structural violence, trajectory of violence, protective factors and nonviolence, geographic pattern change, violence prevention strategies, youth, family factors, community factors, school, police, gangs/street organizations, and media and public perceptions. Recommendations to support community engagement were grouped as role of research in reducing violence, role of community in violence research, relationships and respect, academic-community communication, financial considerations, training, practical considerations, research design, sharing results, communication about and use of data, and recommendations for funders. Conclusions: The violence research agenda will be used to inform community-engaged violence prevention research. The recommendations for community engagement provide a resource for researchers about topics to consider to meaningfully engage community members in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number39
JournalInjury Epidemiology
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Community-engaged
  • Partnership
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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