Community First Research Center for Wellbeing and Creative Achievement (CREW)


Community First Research Center for Wellbeing and Creative Achievement, or CREW, is a community-focused research center at the University of Mississippi that invites communities to reach out with their research and data needs to improve wellbeing and health.

Building stronger Mississippi communities.

Located at the University of Mississippi, CREW is responsible for spearheading innovative solutions and fostering positive change within communities across the state. As a dynamic research center, CREW plays a role in connecting the needs and dreams of communities with academic expertise. Their commitment to community-first approaches and their dedication to community-driven initiatives have earned them a reputation as a catalyst for sustainable development.

Through community-based participatory research, strategic research planning and expert guidance, CREW and its partners take pride in empowering communities to shape their own future, ensuring solutions are informed by community voices and collective knowledge. 

"If you're trying to solve big problems, you need everyone's voice. We're the bridge between the community and the research data they need." —Dr. Meagen Rosenthal, Director, CREW

How CREW Works

Traditionally, many communities have been left out of conversations and decisions that directly impact their lives. Their valuable perspectives have been overlooked, resulting in solutions that may not effectively address their needs. CREW’s approach in community support values the lived experiences of communities, actively involving them in the decision-making processes that directly affect them. They work collaboratively with communities to understand their needs, develop solutions and implement those solutions. 

CREW adheres to the community-based research principles in all their work.

Community Projects

CREW is involved in a variety of initiatives to support communities in Mississippi. See below for some of CREW's recent community work.
CREW team members work on computers
A woman speaks on a microphone

Researching Food Insecurity

CREW examined farmer integration within USDA nutrition incentive and produce prescription programs in rural areas across Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Read the Study
Community group talks with each other
Woman speaks to a crowd

Improving Community Health

CREW worked with the Bolivar County Medical Foundation (BCMF) to help them strategically align their needs with the community, helping them to better understand the needs of their communities and to develop strategies to address those needs.

Woman receives a food prescription box
Group arrives at table

Widening Healthy Food Access

In collaboration with the Happy Foods Project, CREW launched the North Delta FoodRx program, an effort to test delivery of produce boxes to homebound clients across Quitman County. The pilot food prescription program delivered weekly boxes containing 10-15 pounds of produce.

Learn More