Research to Be Shared on Strengthening Relationships in the African-American Community

ISU Extension and Outreach presentation is June 11 in Waterloo

May 23, 2018, 3:47 pm | Tera Jordan, Shelly Smith, Laura Sternweis

WATERLOO, Iowa – Black Hawk County has the highest concentration of African-Americans in Iowa. Over the past year, an Iowa State University researcher has led a study aimed at strengthening relationships in the county’s African-American community and improving connections between the community and ISU Extension and Outreach Human Sciences programs.

Tera Jordan.Those interested in learning about the project, results and recommendations are invited to a community presentation and reception on Monday, June 11, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Academy, 1505 Logan Avenue, Waterloo.

Tera Jordan, an associate professor in human development and family studies at Iowa State, is the principal investigator and worked with five local community leaders. Felicia Carter, Jeannette Mukayisire, Madelyn Ridgeway, Shelly Smith and Cynthia Thompson supported the project and facilitated small group discussions with African-American residents in the county.

The facilitated discussions were designed to gain residents’ perspectives on how to improve ISU Extension and Outreach programs and professional practices, Jordan said. Forty-four residents took part in the study circles and action forums to offer their perspectives and brainstorm solutions for improving ISU Extension and Outreach's engagement with the African-American community, build community ties and promote family well-being.

Results of the study circles and action forums have been analyzed and are included in a report with recommendations. The information will be used to build a better, stronger Black Hawk County, Jordan said.

The research was funded through the Engaged Scholarship Funding Program, which supports research projects that focus on engagement, translate research into practice, and involve and benefit Iowans, their families and communities. Jordan’s project is a partnership of ISU Extension and Outreach, the College of Human Sciences and the Black Hawk County Extension Council.

For more information, contact Jordan at 515-294-9804 or by email at


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