At the CO-CREATH Lab, our mission is to improve health equity and outcomes through four core pillars.

Authentic community engagement (ACE)

Engage with community members and other stakeholders as partners in examining the health needs of those on the margins and generating solutions to advance health equity.

Knowledge production (KP)

Generate new knowledge and synthesize existing knowledge to create innovative solutions for complex problems.

Knowledge mobilization (KMb)

Create innovative tools that move knowledge to action in policy and practice setting, using a variety of formats that are tailored to the needs of diverse stakeholders.

Capacity building (CB)

Provide training, coaching and mentorship to strengthen the capacity of various stakeholders within an empowering environment to improve health and healthcare practices.

Authentic Community Engagement

We engage with community members, such as members of the African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) community, and other stakeholders as partners in examining the health needs of those on the margins and generating solutions to advance health equity.

  • Building Trust with Meaningful Engagement

    A key element of our authentic community engagement is to involve community members at every level of research. We hire community members as project staff and collaborate actively with people who live the experiences we study as mechanism for building capacity.

  • Key Stakeholders

    Our key stakeholders are made up of community members (e.g. ACB people), public health leaders, researchers, students, trainees, volunteers, and policymakers from across Canada and beyond Meaningful engagement of trainees in this way, serves to train and build the capacity of the next generation of changemakers.

  • Project Advisory Committees and Working Groups

    Meaningful engagement of community members and other stakeholders is ensured through various mechanisms, two of which are project advisory committees (PAC) and working groups. Each CO-CREATH research project is assigned a PAC, which is made up of key stakeholders. The PAC meets at several points during the project lifecycle, as organized by the research coordinator. In the early stages, Dr. Etowa consults with PACs to make sure relevant issues are being addressed, and that community voices are heard. As the project progresses, we meet with PACs 3–4 times per year to review project goals, challenges, solutions, and milestones.

Knowledge Production (KP)

The CO-CREATH lab engages in a wide range of research projects, and collaborates with community members with lived experience in our research topics as well as researchers from around the world to produce new knowledge.

Active Projects

  • Active

    Strengthening organizational capacity for health research, data management and knowledge mobilization in ACB communities across Canada

  • Active

    Strengthening community capacity for HIV prevention and care among African Caribbean and Black (ACB) women in Ontario: Interdisciplinary community-based participatory research initiative (CADWO)

  • Active

    Strengthening the capacity of service providers to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on African, Caribbean, and Black communities in Ontario

  • Active

    Optimizing HIV and health services for Canadians of African Descent (CAD) women: A multi-sectoral and innovative approach to capacity building

Knowledge Mobilization (KMb)

We are committed to getting the right information to the right people in the right format at the right time. To do so, we create innovative tools that move knowledge to action at the policy level and practice setting. Our knowledge mobilization goals are to maximize the impact of our research and communicate these impacts as widely as possible.

Our knowledge mobilization consists of innovative tools and activities that build awareness, disseminate findings, and facilitate the use of our research results in real time. Examples of our knowledge mobilization products include:

  • Publishing our research findings in peer review journals, open access platforms, social media and grey literature to facilitate access to community members and other disadvantaged people who may not have access to traditional publication platforms.
  • Developing and implementing events like World Cafés, Action Summit, community conversations, health fairs, concept mapping and webinar series.

  • Presenting at various scholarly events including giving keynotes and other presentations at conferences.
  • Creating handouts for use during community outreach activities such as timely pamphlets, infographics and information manuals.
  • Creating digital tools, including online training, digital stories and podcasts.
  • Coaching stakeholders on how to use study findings.
  • Creating and implementing the peer equity navigation (PEN) as ACB health foot soldiers to disseminate evidence-based information to hard-to-reach areas of our communities.

To learn more about CO-CREATH’s active and completed projects, please visit our Knowledge Production page.

Capacity Building (CB)

CO-CREATH is dedicated to creating an environment of empowerment where we provide mentoring, community training and professional development opportunities to many different stakeholders.

  • Student Mentoring

    At CO-CREATH, we create an enriching environment when students can claim their voices and actively contribute to improving health and healthcare practices. We are always looking for new volunteers. Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering at the CO-CREATH lab.

  • Peer Equity Navigators

    Our Peer Equity Navigators (PEN) program is a peer-driven health education and practice changing initiative that aims to close health equity gaps in disadvantaged communities by empowering individuals to become community health advocates and change makers.

    To learn more about the PENS program, please visit our Capacity Building page.

  • Critical Health and Racial Literacy Training for Service Providers

    Our interactive Critical Health and Racial Literacy (CHRL) training is designed to help service providers understand and addressed the barriers faced by ACB clients when accessing healthcare services. To learn more about the CHRL training, please visit our Capacity Building page.