Paid Community Scientist Career Development Program Launches in Oakland

Pictured above - The graduates of the inaugural Benioff Community Innovator program (L-R) Elonda McCall, Sabra Bell, Haydee Orellana, Brianne Taylor, Karent Novelo, Randi Tanksley, and Cecilia Shephard

Following the great success of its inaugural Benioff Community Innovators (BCI) program, PTBi is preparing to launch the second iteration of its paid community scientist professional development program this October in Oakland. PTBi’s community engagement team is inviting family advocates from Oakland community-based organizations to apply for this empowering opportunity.

The BCI program is a community engagement project that relies on a community-based participatory action research model to educate and develop community scientists with an emphasis on economic workforce development. The program's objective is to create space in research settings for community voices to not only be heard but positioned as leaders in the field.

Over two years, the program will work with community scholars to research issues related to Black and Brown preterm birth and use those findings to create policy and change that will affect birth outcomes in Oakland.

Become a BCI!

To apply to the program, please join us at one of our informational webinars.

  •     Every Tuesday until August 25th, 2020
        Aug 4 | 1:00 PM
        Aug 11 | 12:00 PM
        Aug 18 | 1:00 PM
        Aug 25 | 1:00 PM 
  •     Every Thursday until August 27th, 2020
        Aug 6 | 3:00 PM
        Aug 13 | 3:00 PM
        Aug 20 | 3:00 PM
        Aug 27 | 3:00 PM


BCI Trailblazers Informed SF Housing Policy

PTBi’s first group of BCIs launched in San Francisco in 2017. Ten women innovators from San Francisco were trained as researchers and conducted qualitative research to inform policy recommendations to improve housing security for pregnant women. Over nine months, the Innovators were paired with San Francisco State University master of public health students and received training in research methods.

The Innovators conducted focus groups with 84 women and shared their findings at several scientific meetings including the prestigious 11th Annual UCSF Health Disparities Research Symposium, and the 2nd Annual PTBi Symposium. The Innovators then utilized the assessment findings and recommendations to educate City and County leaders in health and housing.

BCI Graduates Establish Research Careers, Help Change Society for the Better

Graduates of the BCI program have now established careers in community academic research. One graduate, Sabra Bell, is now a community researcher with PTBI’s Collective Impact partner Expecting Justice and working on the Abundant Birth Project, an innovative research study that will provide monthly $1-$1.5K income supplements to low-income Black and Pacific Islander birthing persons in San Francisco. Another graduate, Brianne Taylor, became the program manager of PTBi’s SOLARS research study, which examines how stress, anxiety, and racism as well as resilience and coping impacts birth outcomes in Black and Hispanic/Latina women.

“It just never occurred to me that I could ever be a researcher or someone that has actually published research,” said Taylor. “It continues to blow my mind.”

“I am not extensively educated; my background is not in research,” added Taylor. “I think what I contribute is an example of what change can look like…Black and minority women and folks can come in and we can change things and we can excel in ways that maybe society has told us that we can't.”

To apply to become a BCI, we strongly encourage you to attend one of our weekly informational sessions beginning Aug. 4. Visit this page to learn more about BCI Oakland.