Biospecimen banking programs are critically dependent on participation of diverse population members. The purpose of this study was to test a pilot intervention to enhance recruitment to a biospecimen bank among racially diverse community members. A mixed methods, community-based participatory research (CBPR) orientation was used to develop and pilot an intervention to educate and recruit participants to a biospecimen bank. Pre- and post-assessments of knowledge about research, perceived costs and benefits of participation (expected utility), and emotional states associated with research participation (affective associations) as well as post-intervention participation in biobanking were examined to determine intervention effectiveness. The pilot intervention educated 148 community members; 107 (73 %) donated blood and 77 (52 %) completed a 36-page lifestyle questionnaire. Thirty-two percent of participants were African American and 11 % were Native American. Participating in the educational program significantly reduced negative affect associated with research involving collection of genetic material or completion of a survey. Improved knowledge and understanding of biobanking and research through a CBPR approach are likely to increase participation rates in biobanking for diverse community members. Accurate information and improved knowledge can reduce individual anxiety and concerns that serve as barriers to research participation.