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CBPR Vital for Social Change

The assigned case study provides a model for the application of the CBPR approach in improving food security in Bayview Hunters Point Community, San Francisco, by describing a local security policy effort among a local community-based organization, a local health department and an external evaluator (Minkler & Wallerstein, 2008). The partnership explains the application of the CBPR model in the environmental justice movement because it frames food insecurity as an environmental justice problem. Using the CBPR model, the above-mentioned stakeholders helped to bring policy changes in the San Francisco community, which were poised to reduce the food insecurity in the area. Such policy changes included youth-led research on the understudied problem, improved education programs to improve awareness about the food insecurity problem, and the introduction of a city and foundation-funded program to support a Good Neighbor Program that was supposed to address the food insecurity problem by improving access to healthy foods and sensitizing people about the issue (Minkler & Wallerstein, 2008). Overall, the case study provided an example of how stakeholders in the health sector could use the CBPR model to include young people in the promotion of healthy environments.

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The CBPR approach could be useful in pushing forward the agenda of food security in the context of the above-mentioned case study by increasing the knowledge and understanding of the environmental issues that lead to food insecurity in the first place. In other words, the CBPR approach could help educate people about the link between environmental actions and food insecurity (Leung, Yen, & Minkler, 2004). Indeed, the model could help to enhance people’s understanding of the relationship between the social and physical environmental determinants of health, as the basis for understanding the premise of eliminating food insecurity. In this regard, it could help people to understand the relationship between the social and physical environmental determinants of health, which cause the problem in the first place (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). This is a positive social change in the community because more people would be aware of their actions on the environment and their potential contribution towards improving environmental justice. The second way CBPR could promote social change is by bringing different stakeholders together and starting a dialogue regarding what they need to do to solve the food crisis (Schwab, 1997).

This approach would provide a comprehensive analysis of the issue and lead to the formulation of holistic strategies for addressing the health problem. Indeed, as seen in the case study, the CBPR framework brought together local community-based organizations, local health agencies, and external evaluators to discuss food security issues in the Bayview Hunters Point Community (Minkler & Wallerstein, 2008). Furthermore, the case study shows the CBPR approach helped to coordinate funding efforts, as it did in securing funding from the local health department to advance a policy agenda for the improvement of food security in the Bayview area. It helped to attract the interest of local legislators and several city agencies by seeking their involvement and contribution in funding the Good Neighbor Program (Minkler & Wallerstein, 2008). By doing so, the CBPR approach promoted social change by providing a framework for different stakeholders to interact. Integrating the knowledge gained with interventions and policy, or social, changes needed to address the food insecurity issue is also another area that CBPR could help to address some of the challenges highlighted in the case study.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Investments in communities: CDC’s role in activating social change. Web.

Leung, M. W., Yen, I. H., & Minkler, M. (2004). Community-based participatory research: A promising approach for increasing epidemiology’s relevance in the 21st century. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33(3), 499–506.

Minkler, M., & Wallerstein, N. (Eds.). (2008). Community-based participatory research for health: From process to outcomes (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Schwab, M. (1997). Sharing power: Participatory public health research with California teens. Social Justice, 24(3), 11–22.

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