This paper discusses a learning and research partnership between a university and a community group that was studying the health issues in their community. It is based on a 'knowledge democracy' approach, where the importance of multiple ways of knowing is foregrounded. It uses a framework derived from Starhawk (1987) to explore how power might be shared and how difficult it can be to avoid exercising power in hidden, rather than overt, ways. It shows that all the participants in the programme eventually became part of a 'community of practice' through sharing power but also outlines the challenges to working in collaborative partnerships. It concludes that it is possible to intentionally link the values of democracy and action to the process of producing and using knowledge, but this requires considerable effort from all parties.