Transforming Community-Led Health Research Ways of Knowing Symposium

In August, roughly 35 community members and advocates will gather in Greenville, North Carolina, to engage in peer networking and heartfelt conversations about overcoming the systemic barriers to developing and sustaining authentic and meaningful community-led health research partnerships. This symposium is co-organized with Hope to Thrive and  Community-Campus Partnerships for Health.

August 2024
Greenville, North Carolina

Event Co-Organizers

Charisse Iglesias

Dr. Charisse Iglesias, a woman with short, dark hair wearing glasses and a grey blazer with a peach colored top

Dr. Charisse Iglesias, Training Resource Director at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), has a PhD in rhetoric and composition with an emphasis on facilitating equitable community-academic partnerships. Her passion and expertise in facilitating community-academic partnerships stemmed from her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer co-creating educational programs, and directing a college-pathway writing program that partnered economically marginalized public high schools with a research university. At CCPH, Charisse leads teams to create, facilitate, and evaluate technical training workshops and resources for international and US-based community partners, researchers, and academics.

Kunga Denzongpa

Kunga Denzongpa, PhD, MPH

Kunga Denzongpa, PhD, MPH brings in 7+ years of experience in Community-based participatory research among culturally and ethnically minoritized communities. Her research particularly centers on refugee and immigrant health disparities, maternal health outcomes, community-centered equitable research partnerships, and culturally responsive equitable evaluation. As a Sikkimese-Himalayan tribal minority raised in a collective community, her passion is rooted in equitable approaches to community and health.


Joy Williams

Joy Williams, a smiling Black woman sitting at a table with a tumbler

Joy Williams, MFA, MDiv, MPH, is a speaker, writer, dancer, and entrepreneur. She is the founder and Executive Director of Hope to Thrive, a nonprofit in Winston-Salem, NC. You can find Joy most days turning her family home into a living and learning homestead, growing and cooking food and making homemade chemical-free cleaning and body products, and hosting indigenous lifestyles programs. Joy believes in modeling a lifestyle rooted in what it means to live simply, off the land, and striving in harmony with God, the earth, others, and oneself–all for the purpose of helping her community have access to locally grown food and a great quality of life.


Paige Castro-Reyes

The Event

The intent of this symposium is to:

  • Validate community-led practice and research that aligns and is grounded in your positionality through reflection, coalition building, and cultural immersion.
  • Situate research or ways of knowing as a tool to better understand what is needed to meaningfully lead research that is grounded in community-identified needs.
  • Identify resources, different forms of support, and other needs to successfully overcome barriers to engaging community-led research in different contexts.
  • Create meaningful connections through peer learning and respectful conversations and activities that facilitate emergent ideas and collaborations in future health equity work.

Notably, one day of the symposium will be dedicated to a community site-visit bus tour to deepen participants' understanding and hold conversations about what "community-led" means.

The Ways of Knowing Symposia Series

Learn more about the event by watching a recording of the kickoff event and checking out the below illustrated notes from the same session.

Illustrated notes from Transforming Community-Led Health Research

Art by Reilly Branson on behalf of Ink Factory

Video length:

Recording of the Ways of Knowing Symposia Kickoff, a hybrid event recorded on March 7th in New Orleans, LA.

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