Community-Based Research (CBR) brings together the unique knowledge and resources of the community and the University to address questions raised by the community itself. Bringing together diverse perspectives and ways of knowing sheds new light on today’s issues and helps to identify innovative ways to tackle them. CURA believes that communities have the skills and experience to conduct research that produces valuable knowledge grounded in lived experiences. 

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program

Builds community capacity to erase persistent racial and economic disparities in the Twin Cities…


Neighborhoods Now! is an innovative community educational series to strengthen the work of individuals and organizations working in neighborhoods so they can organize to win issues for people and places, build power to change systems for racial equity and economic justice, build organizations whose leadership is reflective of the community, and build diverse and effective cross cultural collaborations. 

Program Goals

  • Build skills and knowledge for place-based community organizing through trainings and education programs.
  • Provide access to customized experiences including mentoring, coaching, consulting,…


Community members understand their own issues like nobody else can, and must be the leading voice in setting the community agenda. Leadership of neighborhood organizations should be accountable to and reflective of the diverse communities they represent. 

CURA’s Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing program offers training and organizing assistance to support local leaders in identifying and tackling neighborhood issues, and in building vital communities that value full participation and embody racial equity and economic justice. We also build connections across organizations and communities in Strategic collaboration across communities to create an…

We are again sharing a statement from CURA Director Ed Goetz on the murder of George Floyd at the top of this message. The fundamental issues of justice that Mr. Floyd’s murder surfaces for our community and for the entire nation dominate our conversations about what is next for CURA. 

Following that statement, we share a message about CURA’s work in a COVID-19 world.

Statement from the Director of CURA

Our community witnesses again the violence of police brutality ending in the death of a Black man. It is well past the time for people in power, those who can impose…


Community-based research enables community organizations to see new perspectives on issues and to obtain the right information to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Program Goals

The Community Assistantship Program (CAP) connects Greater Minnesota communities to the University of Minnesota through community-driven, applied research. The research and technical needs of organizations are matched with student research assistants to carry out community-defined and -guided projects. CURA works with organizations selected for the program to create shared understanding and action based on the results. 

The goals of…

As funding to upgrade the City Academy went through St. Paul’s Capital Improvement Budget process, the East Side Neighborhood Development Center sought CURA’s help to investigate disparities in funding across the city. Photo by John Vaughn

John Vaughn has thought for years that the east side of St. Paul has not received as much funding as other parts of the city. “Anecdotally, I’ve seen the East Side has lost out on city funding to other neighborhoods,” said Vaughn recently. “Having the City Academy project funding be so severely cut pushed me to organize around finding some hard evidence of this.”

In 2015 Vaughn, who is the executive director of the East Side Neighborhood…

Rachel Grewell (second from right) - “One thing that makes our project different is that we actually want to bond with the community to make sure it is a success. They said to come to the events, the dinners, the gardens and so I did. And it has been so much more rewarding.”

The local impact of urban farming, breaking down the boundaries between communities and academia, and #CURAStudents are the topics for today’s #CURAisUrbanAg installment. We’d like to introduce you to Rachel Grewell: she is a graduate student working with CURA and the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance (a great local urban agriculture group profiled…