Explore UAB

Engagement of Communities

Serving Our Region

The CCTS supports the development of authentic partnerships between researchers and the populations we serve. Through our Engagement of Communities domain, we provide learning and collaboration opportunities to a wide variety of community stakeholders. Our aims are to foster trust, explore and establish shared research goals, and speed the translation of knowledge into health improvements for all.

One Great Community

One Great CommunityEstablished in 2008, the One Great Community (OGC) council, which comprises 25 members (13 community, 12 academic), meets regularly throughout the year. Its primary mission is to strengthen partnerships with local community organizations and leaders. To this end, OGC established our two flagship engagement activities: the Community Health Innovation Awards (CHIA) and the Community Engagement Institute (CEI).

Community Engagement Institute

CEIThe Community Engagement Institute (CEI) is an annual full-day symposium focused on issues related to health equity and social justice. The CEI examines the importance of why and how community engagement and collaboration are effective in social/behavioral research and essential in community building practices.

Learn more about CEI

Community Health Innovation Awards


The Community Health Innovation Awards (CHIA) program is an annual grant competition for organizations in the greater Birmingham area that fosters novel ways of thinking about challenging local health issues. Participants work collaboratively with local leaders, neighborhood groups, and the UAB community to develop their ideas into fundable project development proposals. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Learn more about CHIA

Southern Commonweal

Our regional organization, formerly known as the CCTS Regional Community Engagement Consortium, integrates community engagement efforts across the CCTS Partner Network, a region that includes Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, to define common challenges, share best practices, and align goals and activities whenever possible.

Learn more about the Southern Commonweal


Clifford Kennon, EdS, MPA, CPP
Program Director, Engagement of Communities