We are deeply rooted in the local and global community, and community engagement is at the core of our work. We connect the University of Arizona to diverse groups of people and organizations through creative partnerships.
Partnership & Collaboration
Our partnerships help to identify and fill important gaps in community need and, through these partnerships, we contribute to making Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, and beyond a safer, more prosperous, healthier place to live.
At any given time, we collaborate with over 50 community partners for active projects at the local, national, and global levels. These collaborators include many not-for-profit organizations serving marginalized groups, such as mental health and substance use treatment providers, as well as organizations in the fields of medicine, law, family services, education, homelessness, and workforce development.
We have also partnered with community groups such as Native American tribes, the City of Tucson, and the City of South Tucson. Community members have reported that SIROW “really gets in and works with the community.”
Impact in Communities
Our collaborations have a positive impact on families, communities, women, men, children, youth, and elders. This is in line with our mission: to develop, conduct, and disseminate collaborative outreach, education, intervention, and research projects of importance to diverse groups.
We are well-known for our work in communities on issues related to sexual health; criminal justice; gender; LGBTQ+ identity; mental health; substance abuse; violence; and involvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
We identify and address community needs through programming and partnerships with community-based programs and agencies, such as the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation’s (SAAF) EON Youth Lounge, the Pascua Yaqui tribe’s Sewa Uusim Behavioral Health Program, CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness, and the Pima County Health Department.
We are a leader in the Southwestern U.S. and in the nation among research institutes of the same type and a model for applied research that has an immediate impact in the community. We connect the University of Arizona to the community through research, program development, convening, creative partnerships, and student engagement with lasting positive impact.
Inclusivity and Respect
We are inclusive and respectful of diverse cultures. Our community partners express that they have felt heard while working with us and that the voices and perspectives of the people served by our projects are included in research methodology and results.
We implement culturally sensitive and accessible research methods in our projects. As a community member said, “My experience is that even though SIROW does national quality work, they are very home grown, inclusive, and accessible.”
A tribal partner said, “We had worked with other evaluators and it was very tedious because of our remote location and culture. We were looking for a different perspective. One of the things we looked for was an organization that would listen to us about the approach and make sure that culture and religion were respected. SIROW staff took time to be part of the community, to learn our culture, history and customs. They had a great approach with our children and families. They were always appropriate and very patient. They took the time to listen, watch, learn from us, and build trust. Trust is difficult in marginalized communities.”
This inclusive culture not only serves to build and strengthen community partnerships, it has established our strong positive reputation among private research evaluation firms.
We are uniquely positioned and experienced to fulfill the promise of the University of Arizona as a land-grant university: to benefit Arizona communities, to expand educational opportunities, and to help to address important societal concerns.
One stakeholder said, “SIROW defines community engagement.”