Healthy People 2010 made it a priority to eliminate health disparities. We used a rapid assessment response and evaluation (RARE) to launch a program of participatory action research focused on health disparities in an urban, disadvantaged Black community serviced by a major south Florida health center. We formed partnerships with community members, identified local health disparities, and guided interventions targeting health disparities. We describe the RARE structure used to triangulate data sources and guide intervention plans as well as findings and conclusions drawn from scientific literature and epidemiological, historic, planning, clinical, and ethnographic data. Disenfranchisement and socioeconomic deprivation emerged as the principal determinants of local health disparities and the most appropriate targets for intervention.