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New Book Details Best Practices in Research Among Vulnerable Populations

November 30, 2020

Rosa D. Manzo, Ph.D., associate director of medical education and a project research scientist, has co-authored a new book on community-based and community-engaged research.

Cultura y Corazón” is for students, researchers and practitioners who want to work with vulnerable populations through a decolonial community-based approach — respecting and integrating culture, values, lived experience, identities and beliefs to reveal the connections between knowledge, social practices and social action.

The book, published by the University of Arizona Press, presents case studies from the authors’ work within the fields of education and health, and offers best practices for Community Based and Participatory Action Research (CBPAR), which is both culturally attuned and scientifically demonstrated.

“Cultura y Corazón” is a research approach and practice rooted in the work of Latinx and Chicanx scholars and intellectuals and integrates critical feminist and indigenous epistemologies. The book offers key strategies to working in partnership with marginalized Latinx communities.

Manzo is an interdisciplinary researcher focused on addressing health and education disparities in rural communities. She has extensive experience with community-based participatory action research and implementing community-based health and education intervention for federally funded research projects in California. She has developed partnerships with Promotora groups across the region and has successfully trained promotoras as data collectors.

Manzo plays a critical role in UC Merced’s evolving medical education program, incorporating community-engagement into the curricula to help address health disparities in the San Joaquin Valley. She has published numerous articles in the areas of community-based and community-engaged methodologies. She wrote “Cultura y Corazón” with Lisceth Brazil-Cruz, an interdisciplinary researcher focused on understanding access to health and education in Latinx communities; Yvette G. Flores, a clinical psychologist, professor and researcher who bridges psychology and Chicanx/Latinx health; and Hector Rivera-Lopez, a clinical psychologist with more than 47 years of experience.

“’Cultura y Corazón’ is a book we have all been waiting for,” said Sujey Vega, the author of “Latino Heartland: Of Borders and Belonging in the Midwest.” “Deliberate in its descriptions of how to do ethical community-engaged participatory research, the authors provide an excellent model for anyone serious about changing the way we work with communities of color. This is mandatory reading for researchers who are invested in providing a symbiotic relationship with communities of color and who no longer abide by helicopter culture-vulture approaches in research relationships.”