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Lessons from my Elders on Recruitment and Retention into Health Research.


In this brief report, the author shares lessons from Loretta Jones, MA and William Jenkins, PhD, two elders who shaped her research with communities that occupy intersecting marginalized categories. These lessons were echoed and amplified by the community panelists at the RCMAR workshop on recruitment and retention of diverse elders. They include centering the priorities of communities themselves, helping community members envision the types of positive transformations that research can help bring about, engaging and valuing the contributions of diverse sectors of the community, and recognizing the desire of aging individuals and communities to leave a legacy. Because heath care, research, and governmental institutions have engendered so much mistrust in racial/ethnic minority communities, researchers must learn first the particular histories and experience of the populations they intend to study. Equipped with this knowledge, cultural humility, and a willingness to listen, researchers can then use these strategies to earn the trust necessary for successful recruitment and retention in research.

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