Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

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FY 2018 Community Conversations Research

Executive Summary

The Latino population in the U.S. experiences high levels of distress that can negatively impact their health and wellbeing. This distress is associated with trauma due to separation from loved ones as a result of current deportation practices, high incidence of disability (physical, cognitive and developmental, and/or mental), and limited access to health resources. These issues have resulted in mistrust toward needed social services and other formal supports, leading to reliance on faith-based organizations. The proposed community conversation participatory research aims at addressing two priorities. First, engage the Latino community living in the neighborhood of Pilsen in Chicago's Ward 25, which is experiencing social crisis due to ongoing poverty and limited access to services, in an asset mapping of community resources and second, strengthen the network of partners in the community working collaboratively to address locally identified issues. In collaboration with community partners, we will engage the community in a praxis cycle of reflection, data collection through community-engaged asset mapping, action planning and action taking. This project seeks to answer the following research questions: a) what are the community assets as identified by Latino families engaged in asset mapping? b) How does the community, including community partners and residents, address identified issues and what barriers hinder this process? c) What ideas for action to address identified issues come from the community? d) How can the community use pre-existing assets to address concerns? e) Who participates in the asset mapping and who participates in addressing issues (demographic characteristics, occupation, and role in the community)? And f) what does civic engagement and action-taking mean to the community, what actions are taken by the community? The results from the asset mapping will be discussed with the community to develop a plan to address issues identified, to enhance community networks, and to maximize strengths that will benefit Latino families experiencing distress.

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