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University of Minnesota Extension

Cultural Providers Network

The Cultural Providers Network (CPN) is a coalition of:

  • Providers for children and families of color
  • Institutions of higher learning
  • Minnesota policy professionals

The network bridges research with practice and policy. CPN invites participation from a broad range of people and organizations.


We strive to build and sustain a network of diverse communities and organizations with a special interest in culture and ethnicity to promote policies, practices, standards and research that improve the health of children and their families and communities with a focus on behavioral health.


There are differences in understanding, beliefs and approach among and between practitioners serving children from culturally diverse communities and scientists generating evidence related to effective mental health practices. To address this science-practice gap, we need genuine, trusting partnerships that share power between the scientific community and providers serving diverse communities. CPN works toward a greater understanding of clinical success in communities of color, culturally relevant children’s mental health intervention approaches, and mutually beneficial partnerships between providers and researchers.


In 2008, the Children, Youth & Family Consortium received a unique grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop and evaluate specific mechanisms of successful collaboration between a higher education institution and community providers.

Through funds awarded jointly to the University of Minnesota and CPN, this project aimed to:

  • Develop measurable strategies to create an effective collaborative process.
  • Create and evaluate opportunities for the scientific community and community providers to increase mutual understanding of each other’s definitions of effectiveness, standards of evidence, criteria for cultural appropriateness, and ways of knowing.
  • Identify culturally-specific mental health practices and design a culturally relevant process to establish their effectiveness.
  • Identify established EBPs that could be adopted without modification or adapted for culturally diverse communities and design a culturally relevant research strategy to evaluate these adaptations.
  • Develop a culturally appropriate self-assessment strategy.

To guide the development of this partnership, University of Minnesota faculty and CPN members participated in a structured dialogue on April 8th, 2010. Members learned to understand differences in values and approaches to knowledge. They also learned how to connect with others interested in creating sustainable partnerships.


CPN members meet each month to:

  • Network
  • Discuss effective practices in communities of color
  • Participate in community-engaged research
  • Take part in dialogue
  • Build bridges between scientific and provider communities

Learn more on the CPN website.

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