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Am J Public Health. 2005 Apr;95(4):596-601.

Building on leadership and social capital to create change in 2 urban communities.

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  • 1School of Community Health, Portland State University, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA. farquhar@pdx.edu


There has been an appeal to reduce health inequities by increasing community involvement and social capital. Poder es Salud/Power for Health is a community-based participatory prevention research project that seeks to address health disparities in the African American and Latino communities by enhancing community-level social capital. We provide specific examples of how this intervention uses community health workers and popular education to reduce language and cultural barriers and enhance community social capital. Although the communities share fundamental challenges related to health disparities, the ways in which the Latino and African American communities identify health concerns, create solutions, and think about social capital vary. Members of the project are working together to identify opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration.

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