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In this paper, we discuss how we cultivated a sustainable community-academic partnership and describe how our community-based participatory research project, Bembé Drum and Dance, contributed to youth development. Bembé Drum and Dance is an Afro-Latino performing arts program based on the positive youth development theory. Thirteen children ages 9–13 participated in the ensemble. We used a multimethod descriptive design. Data were gathered using surveys, participant observation, and interviews. Increases in the Five Cs (competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring) were noted among youth, most notably in competence and confidence. Recognizing that the project belonged to the community and supporting this sense of ownership were imperative to the project’s success. Forging and sustaining a community-academic partnership was a challenging and rewarding way to directly exchange knowledge and expertise among youth, adult community members, and academic partners and to contribute to the flourishing of young people.


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19 Jul 2022
240 kB