In 2016-18, Dr. Blanks led a community participatory research team to evaluate the City of Milwaukee’s Community Development Block Grant funding of nonprofit organizations to provide crime prevention and community organizing services in the African American community. The work and report “Project Central Voice” was funded by a racial equity grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
The Project Central Voice team included community researchers who with Blanks interviewed more than 100 African American residents who offered their insights about crime prevention and community organizing in the Northside CDBG neighborhoods. Blanks and the team shared their results with community leaders and residents at three public forums.
Neighborhood residents were trained in the survey administration, certified in the Protection of Human Subjects through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and played a key role in reporting the results.
Dr. Blanks led the research project with Milwaukee County’s Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate whether there was racial equity in the department's contracting system. Blanks was the lead author of the report "Creating the Catalyst for Transformational Change