Manitoba Research Alliance receives 12th annual CCPH award

Shauna MacKinnon, now with the University of Winnipeg’s Urban and Inner-City Studies, and Diane Roussin, of Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, are in Corner Brook, NL, this morning accepting the award.

Community Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) is delighted to announce the 12th recipient of the CCPH annual award, the Manitoba Research Alliance in Winnipeg.

The award highlights the power and potential of partnerships between communities and academic institutions as a strategy for health equity and social justice.

Selected from a highly competitive group of nominations from Canada, Australia and the United States, the Manitoba Research Alliance (MRA) has for over a decade been bringing together academics and community organizations to study and promote solutions to inner city and Aboriginal poverty, ill health and social exclusion.

The MRA works to make concrete improvements in communities through a partnership of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Manitoba universities, community organizations and provincial government. Through their involvement in the MRA, communities drive research priorities, the evaluation and selection of projects, the conduct of research and the dissemination of results.

Sarena Seifer, Executive Director of Community Campus Partnerships for Health, presented the award during today’s plenary session of the CU Expo conference in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. CU Expo is a Canadian-led international conference on community-university partnerships that CCPH is supporting in lieu of its own conference this year.

Accepting the award on behalf of the partnership were Shauna MacKinnon, Assistant Professor, Urban and Inner City Studies, University of Winnipeg and Co-investigator of the MRA, and Diane Roussin, Executive Director of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, both based in Winnipeg.

In her remarks presenting the award, Dr. Seifer noted that “The Manitoba Research Alliance stood out for its ability to mobilize partners to pursue the systems and policy changes needed to overcome the root causes of poverty, ill health and social exclusion. Through participatory research and action that leverages the knowledge and other resources of community, academic, Aboriginal and government partners, the Manitoba Research Alliance is advancing an ambitious social justice agenda.”

In the words of one reviewer, she shared, “This decade-long partnership has successfully leveraged three successive grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to forge authentic multi-sector partnerships, conduct policy-relevant research and establish itself as a trusted and valued member of the community.”

Pointing to the MRA’s 2008 report, Is Participation Having an Impact? Measuring Progress in Winnipeg’s Inner City through the Voices of Community-Based Program Participants, another reviewer observed that “The MRA not only undertakes community-based participatory approaches in its work, it seeks to understand the value of community participation in research and policy making and how it can be enhanced. This practice serves as a model all of us working to engage with communities should aspire to.”

For more information about the 2013 CCPH award winner, visit

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