TRANSCRIPT: Morning Keynote by Loretta Jones, CSU Southern Regional Community-Based Research Conference, March 12, 2010
To listen, click arrow, above or download the morning keynote podcast
Loretta Jones: “Good morning. Oh, I’ve got a live bunch here this early. I’m so glad that you had the dean; she spoke all the eloquent, encouraging words. Because I think you know who you are. I think you’ve done a lot of work. And I’m excited to be here today because I’m talking to the choir; I love talking to the choir. Because I know you’re going to take some of what I say and you’re gonna take it back and you’re gonna use it. Now you may not take all of what I say, because you know, we have selective hearing, right? And so with selective hearing, we’re able to choose and decide what we want to take and what we don’t want to take back with us. I tell folks, ‘How many people brought their community partners with them?’ One person, come on people. Five. Five people. You know, those of you who brought your community partners, I applaud you, because you knew that you can’t get here and whatever you heard, you wanna make sure that now only what you heard but what your community partner heard- you’re gonna take it back and you’re gonna use it to actively make sure that you’ve given back to the community, to the university partners, everything that you need. So I first wanted to start off by saying what I tell everyone, ‘What are you doing this work for?’ Anybody can tell me what they’re doing the work for? Because I’m not lecturing you, you’re gonna talk to me today. If I sit up here and I have to lecture you, then I’m gonna get scared. Yes?... That’s excellent. What else? Anybody wanna tell me? Yes? ...Very good, I love that one. Yes? Thank you, social justice. What else? Yes? And to promote research. What are things we have to do to promote the research in our communities because we know in a lot of the communities that we serve, they’re under-served communities. Communities that have not had a lot of resources. And have not had a lot of, or not participated in the research. We have communities where the research has been a little questionable, unethical. And so communities have turned down and will not talk about research anymore. And so we have to go back and re-teach: what is research, why do we do it, and who benefits from it? And we have to remember that for every federal dollar that’s spent in research in our community is who owns that data? Who owns it? Lord have mercy, do any of you people pay taxes here? *Laughter* If you pay taxes, who owns it? You do. And why do you allow for the research to stay in someone’s drawer in someone’s file cabinet for five years, locked up, and you can’t get to that data and you can’t use it for community betterment. It’s our job. They ask folks to give it back to us. Why should let them sit in the file cabinet for five years, hidden away while someone writes a paper for a journal? And that data means our community could have better use of better data to take and write grants, to take and get funding for things. So we have to actually become more of civil rights advocates now in this work. It’s really important that you think of yourself as a civil rights advocate because you’re gonna have to change the paradigm. And how many people will say, ‘I really wanna do that, that’s part of my job.’ One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven…? Okay, everybody’s hand should have went up in the air because it’s all of our responsibility. Every person that if you’re gonna, I tell people all the time, either you’re part of the … or you are the …”
Loretta Jones: “Oh engagement, how many people in this room have been engaged? *Laughter* Okay, so you know you’ve been engaged. How many people are married? You’ve been engaged before you were married didn’t you! *Laughter* I’m just wondering why half the hands went up when I asked how many people had been engaged. And when I ask how many people are married, the whole hands went up. *Laughter* I’m like, ‘Okay hands, I see you.’ You know what you did. What were some of the ingredients, before you got married that you did as you were engaged? Shout it out folks. Commitment, that’s right. *Silence* O lordy, are you all gonna last in your marriages? *Laughter* I’m going to get…"
Loretta Jones: "Trust! Respect. Big time respect! What else? Communication, yes. Yes? Yes, you can. Why? Well, you can do whatever you wanna do. Well, I don’t know about that because I’m one of these believers that you have a right to do whatever you wanna do and I am not the person to tell you what to do. And so I guess I’m walking on your side of the street because I just believe that I’m not your judge; I’m not your juror. And I’m not gonna be the one to do any of that stuff so whatever you wanna do, if it makes you happy, as long as it’s not hurting another person, go for the gusto. And in community engagement, that’s one of the big things you have to do. You cannot be, what’s the word? Yes, that’s one of the words. Yes, yes. We have a lot of those words. But I just wanted to let know that you can be engaged in here if you want to; it’s up to you. Okay, see? Who says you can’t be engaged to be married? You can go to another state and get married. There are other states that let you get married. Right, but… okay. I appreciate that. I appreciate your opinion and I’m glad that you were able to put it on the table, thank you so much. To be engaged with anything, to be engaged with your children, to be engaged with your job, we’re engaged with our job every day we get up and get out the door and get to work. That’s an engagement. Sometimes, it’s the hardest engagement. *Laughter* Especially if you go on the 10, or the 405.But I think what I’m trying to get at here is there are some things… there are tables over here with chairs, you don’t have to sit on the floor, children, young people. *Laughter* See these over here? They’re seats. I don’t want you to have to sit down uncomfortably. I’ll be up here for a minute talking so you’ll get tired of me in a minute. Being part of the ability to negotiate, you have to be able to negotiate in this world if you’re gonna work in communities. Because that’s part of the engagement process- being able to negotiate. Being agree to disagree with somebody. And say it’s okay, I can disagree with you. I’m not gonna be mad at you. It’s not gonna change my opinion. Being able to manage money equally. That’s an important piece. And if you all can’t engage your money, how in the devil are you gonna do this kind of work? You know, we have a tendency to say the university gets the money and the community gets what? They tell us, ‘We don’t have enough money for you.’ Don’t go there because there is money, you have to take and work for it. Next. Okay, authentic partnerships. There are two kinds of partnerships. And I tell people about these partnerships all the time because there’s a partnership in name only. And there’s a partnership that I call an authentic partnership. A partnership that’s a name only is one of these short-term goal things. I came into community; I have my goals… eight minutes left? Okay. Ooo, I gotta move fast. It’s got people shoot from the hips, it’s an academic staff driven and the ownership is by the academic institutions. Now, an authentic partnership is long-term goals because you wanna have something that will sustain itself in community. You wanna be in there deeply, you wanna make sure that it’s evidence-based. You wanna have an operation that’s got joint ownership. And it has to be community and university academic partnership. Next. Community participatory, partners in research principles- equal partnerships. Build capacity for planning and implementation of research. Don’t go into communities after the grant is written and tell communities, ‘I got you a research project’. Try to let communities come in at the beginning of it- match community and academic priorities and capacity. And know that universities always have a greater capacity and have greater resources. And you must share those resources with communities. When universities have libraries, you need to take those libraries to the community or have the community come to the university. When universities are having speakers like this, bring your community in. Don’t leave them at home, particularly if they can drive here & it’s free. If it costs a lot of money then you know you have to think about that. But you should make sure that your community partners have free access to some things. Next. Make sure it’s strength-based. Okay, here we go. What are these? These are the characteristics that you need to have when you’re in community. Let me tell you- open, honest, positive, flexible, facilitary. You gotta be dedicated. HAVE PATIENCE! Because you’re bringing folks along to your thinking sometimes. You need to be accepting, respectful, and I’m gonna give you one last one. Don’t let the title behind your name get in the way of the work you’re doing. Next. I tell folks with ease, this is one model. This is not the only model of partnering. But this is one way of partnering. And I ask people to know, does anybody here know what resident expert is? Who are resident experts? Every one of you here is a resident expert. Yes, guess who else? I talk about my PH D of the sidewalk. Does anyone know what the PH D of the sidewalk is? It’s someone who has what kind of experience? Life experiences. They come to the table, and you have to give them the respect and credit for having life experiences. I tell people you should plan always together with your partners, your resident experts in your community; you need to set goals together. Roles and responsibilities of authority should be defined. Get a memorandum of understand because what happens sometimes? We forget that we said something. Write in down in your agreement because I might leave tomorrow. And someone else who’s gonna be there, they’ll say, ‘I didn’t agree to that’. But if it’s a university community partnership, the university has to stand by it. That’s hard for universities sometimes. And then you wanna make sure that the work is disseminated not just in peer review journals, but is disseminated back into the community. And you put it in community publications. There’s La Opinion, or the Sentinel, or the LA Times. That you put it in places where community can read it. Next. I talk about the CPPR approach and that is Community-Partnered Participatory Research. Notice I didn’t say Community-Based Participatory Research. Because the Kellogg Foundation had a very good definition of community-based participatory research and actually it’s community-partnered research because you’re partnering with communities. I tell people that you wanna make sure that you develop a coalition to determine community priorities and to build support. This is before you get out there and start writing your grant. You wanna conduct a conference or workshop to provide information and determine readiness. You wanna know if the community is ready for you. You also wanna have work groups to develop, implement and evaluate action plans. I have work groups at my agency and I’ll tell you about that tonight. And you wanna get a leadership council that guides and supports. Because how many people can be a working group? Because that’s too many people, you gotta have a few people. Next. Our definition, this is my definition, community persons who work, share and recreate or live in the area- that’s when we talk about who is community. Community voices have diverse perspectives integrated into priorities and agreements to differ. That means we all agree to disagree. And it’s cool. You wanna have community engagement values, strategies and actions that support the authentic community. Next. Community involvement- make sure this is not just one step we move from community centered. You wanna make sure you build consensus. You wanna report back to funders but you also want funders to be partnered with you. When I say not or not with community, we’re not doing anything for community and we’re not doing it to the community. What are we doing it? With. We have to be sure that we know that difference because I can send a group of students in to do something for the community. I can set up gardens in schools for the community, but did I do it with the community? If I ask the community to come and help clear the land and do the work? No? Okay. *Laughter* And I’m running out of time so the challenges to partnerships are, I can take a minute on this one? Okay, thank you. You wanna build sustainable communities in the capacity because when you leave, you want community to be able to have something there when you’re gone. Why is it were there for hit and run, I call it raping and pillaging. You go on in, you grab what you want and you run out. In a place where they can sustain whatever it is that we’ve implemented. You go to a school and help start a gardening program; you wanna make sure that that gardening program is still there after you’re gone. Please let it be there. Okay, you wanna develop- share agendas together. Why is it that we go to our communities with our agenda all typed up and all ready to go? I love it! I mean, we’re going there, we got the agenda, we didn’t ask anyone in community what thought about the agenda. And then we’re gonna run the meeting; have community co-chair all your meetings. Please don’t think you get the bread and butter. Get your community person to co-chair and don’t get a yes-man person. Get someone who’s gonna say, ‘Well I don’t agree with that’ and ‘we shouldn’t have this much’. Okay? Community needs to own a lot of the stuff when you’re gone. I keep telling you, when we use tax payers’ money, tax payers have a right to have the data. Now what we… she’s shaking her head, I love her. That’s you miss, right there. Yes you, you’re shaking your head- yes, you know what I’m talking about. *Laughter* We need to make sure that the data is cleaned and that there’s no identifiers on it and give it to community gold. And we let other people from community come in and mine it. You would be surprised at what people find when you let others look at your data. They can make it work- I like that person over there laughing. You wanna leverage ownership into action. Reporting back to the community and the funder. Again, work with, not for community. I think, when I talk about trust building, building trust means that we as people don’t go into the community and think, ‘My name is Ms. Jones and everyone in this room is gonna trust me’. Oh please, I know better than that. If one person in this room trusts what I say today, I’m happy. But I don’t expect everybody in this room to trust what I’m saying because people in this room don’t know me. Now if you read chapter two, you’d know a little bit more about me. You you’d know what I’m saying is probably half-way right. And I might disagree with this and I would have done it that way. And then so you need to know that, so you need to start building trust and ownership over time. Next. The challenge of partnership is power-sharing. Please don’t think that because you have the money, you have all the power. Communities, and if you don’t have the money, you still got the power because you got the leverage of people. Okay? You have to develop different missions. And I tell people- not everybody wins the same way. One last thing here, before I leave you because I want you to remember this. And if you read chapter two, you know it, right? Hold up your hand, this is gonna be your teaching tool for the rest of the day. Some people don’t wanna hold up their hand. *Laughter* Why don’t you wanna hold up your hand? Thank you. Why don’t you wanna hold up your hand, sir? Yeah- hold up your hand! Hold up your hand, this is your teaching tool. Okay? Now, everybody should be a part of the vision. That means you, and the community, and the students should all be working on the same vision. Now, if you’re working on the same vision, all is well. But if you’re not working on the same vision, you don’t have a vision. Now this is what I call, a valley. We’re talking about V’s now- vision, this is your valley. Now guess what? If you do all the work, and no one else works with you- how are you gonna feel? Evil, right? ‘Why am I doing all this work and they’re doing nothing?’ So you have to have everybody doing the work. But if you have a vision and then you have a good valley, you’re gonna have a good victory. But if everybody didn’t do the work, it’s not gonna be a good victory. Now, for a good victory, everybody must win. And the wins are different. What I take as a win may not be what you take as a win. So now you have the vision, I hope you’re all working with me on this. *Laughter* The valley, where the work gets done. We’re gonna do that all day today. And your victory. The victory is what you’re gonna learn from this. And is you have these V’s- vision, valley and victory- you will have valued what you’re gonna do today. And this is what you teach when you go out into the world. You teach this to your students, you teach it to the world. Now I’m gonna tell you something, your hand goes with you, right? So you got your teaching tool right here! *Laughter* You’ll remember this because tonight I’m gonna ask people what they remember from this. Hopefully, you’ll be able to tell me. Next. Okay, words to remember, this is the last piece. Improvisational! You got to have improvisation skills if you’re gonna do this kind of work. And improvisation means thinking on your feet trying to do things differently when something doesn’t go the way you want it to go. You can change in midstream and not have any problems. You gotta have resiliency. You gotta be able, when you get kicked, and you fall down, you’ve gotta be able to get up, and keep going. When things look like nothing’s gonna work for you, you’ve gotta have that resiliency. You’ve gotta have connectedness to others. If you’re out here, and you can’t make friends with people and you can’t talk to people, you can’t do this work; this is not for you. I tell some people, they shouldn’t come out and try to do this work. There are some researchers that should stay on the campus, stay in the closet. *Laughter* You need to have spirituality, now I did not say religiosity. I said spirituality, you need to be connected to know there is something greater than you; I don’t care what it is. But there’s something out there greater than you, and you can believe that. You have to have that. I didn’t say you have to be Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish, you know, you just have to be spiritual. You have to be able to be connected. You have to have emotional vitality. Because there are people who are gonna tell you, ‘You know, it’s your fault that I’m in this position.’ ‘It’s your fault because you all didn’t do the thing with Prop 13 and we’re now stuck in this situation because if you had voted the right way, I wouldn’t be in my problem.’ You have to have that. You also have to have Gallo’s humor. Anybody who doesn’t know what Gallo’s humor is, see me later at break time and I’ll tell you a joke. And you’ll see that Gallo’s humor really is. And then the last one- have a healthy suspicion of the message. Because many years ago when HIV first came out, they said they it affecting gays and drug users. That was the wrong method. Of course there’s, drink a glass of wine, don’t drink any wine. Don’t eat any eggs… I mean there are so many things going on in the world that you have to worry about the message and the messenger. I thank you so much for listening to me. I’ll be open for Q & A, I hope. My next slide will tell you how to reach me. If you decide you wanna call me in L.A. So now- questions. No questions. No questions? Tonight, you can ask me questions."