The Detroit URC: fostering health equity through 
community-based participatory research (CBPR)
for more than 20 years

Detroit URC 20th Anniversary Symposium

SatcherAddressLogoMore than 200 people joined the Detroit Urban Research Center and our affiliated partners for our 20th Anniversary Symposium at Detroit's Crowne Plaza Hotel on Thursday, January 21, 2016. (Click here for a recap of this special event and here for a Michigan Daily News story about Dr. Satcher's keynote address and here for a visual timeline of our first 20 years.) 

Not only did we highlight and celebrate 20 years of "Advancing Partnerships, Research, and Equity in Detroit," but we also honored Dr. David Satcher, Founding Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, and former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was pivotal in our development and establishment as a Center in 1995. In recognition of Dr. Satcher's contributions to health equity in Detroit, the Mayor's Office officially proclaimed Dr. Satcher a "Health Equity Champion of Detroit" as part of the Symposium. 

Participants were inspired by Dr. Satcher's keynote address about "Leadership Needs in the Quest for Health Equity," as well as by community and academic experts in community-based participatory research (CBPR) to advance health equity in Detroit, who: 

  • Shared results from multiple research and interventions conducted by the Detroit URC and affiliated partnerships;
  • Addressed social determinants of health and health inequities in Detroit;LinkToSatcherKeynote
  • Discussed policy translation and its impact on improving health outcomes;
  • Described strategies and outcomes of CBPR capacity building efforts; and
  • Celebrated 20 years of partnership and research to promote health equity in Detroit.

Continuing education public health credits were made available for watching/listening to Dr. Satcher's presentation via live webstream. Please use this link for a downloadable copy of the Symposium Program. You may also access an archived copy of Dr. Satcher's presentation at or by clicking the icon to the right.  

Dr. David Satcher's Background with the Detroit URC

During Dr. David Satcher's tenure with the CDC, he established the CDC's Urban Research Center (URC) Program in 1995. The program supported the creation of community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships to address public health priorities in socio-economically stressed urban communities. Seattle, Washington, New York City, New York and Detroit were the cities chosen for the URC Program. Dr. David Satcher has remained an advocate for the Detroit URC since its founding. During Dr. Satcher’s term serving as Surgeon General, the Detroit URC received funding for additional CBPR projects, including a bi-lingual and bi-cultural Medicaid expansion.  Click here for a copy of Dr. David Satcher's bio.

Symposium Schedule

Following a light breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m., this day-long Symposium included Dr. David Satcher's keynote address, presentations, panel discussions, break-out sessions, video testimonials, and more. The event agenda was as follows: 

Time Symposium Agenda - January 21, 2016, Crowne Plaza Hotel in Detroit
8 – 9 a.m. Registration, Coffee & Light Breakfast
9 – 9:15 a.m. Welcoming Remarks
9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Keynote Address by Dr. David Satcher: "Leadership Needs in the Quest for Health Equity"
10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Session 1: Basic Research on Social & Physical Environmental Determinants of Health and Health Inequities

Session 2: Intervention Research Involving Community Health Workers

Session 3: Policy Translation: Training, Research, and Application

Session 4: Capacity Building in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and Collaborative Research
12 – 1 p.m. Lunch, Honor Recognition of Dr. David Satcher with Detroit URC Video Premiere
1 – 2:30 p.m. Repeat of Session 1 Repeat of Session 2 Repeat of Session 3 Repeat of Session 4
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 – 4 p.m. Panel Session: Reflections On, and the Future Of, the Detroit URC and Promoting Health Equity Through CBPR
4 – 5 p.m. Closing Remarks, Reception, and Poster Session

Registration Fees

Registration fees for the full symposium--including breakfast, lunch, and the reception--were $100 per person; $50 for community-based organization staff and Detroit residents; and $25 for students. Scholarships were also available to cover the registration fee. 

Many thanks to our organizational sponsors: 

henryfordchass logo



Logo DetroitersWorkingForEnvironmentalJusticeFriends of ParksideLFS logo sm1

U M Signature

Office of the Vice Provost for Global & Engaged Education

School of Public Health (SPH)

Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI)

Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR)

Health Equity Speaker Series

SPH Department of Health Behavior & Health Education (HBHE)

Graham Sustainability Institute

Families & Individuals:

Barbara Israel, Amy Schulz, Barbara Brush, Richard Lichtenstein, Adam Becker,
The Burns Gray McRobbie Family, Edith Kieffer, Robert McGranaghan, Edith Parker 



The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center
University of Michigan School of Public Health (U-M SPH)
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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