This article is a personal account of working as an administrator and research scientist on a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project called Food Dignity. It describes how the community partners on the project taught the author about privilege and oppression in campus–community research partnerships. It describes her initial failures to acknowledge privilege and actively work to overcome oppression via acts of 'passive oppression' and suggests that acts of passive oppression produce and reproduce structural oppression. The article goes on to give specific examples of structural oppression in CBPR relationships and proposes ways that people in project coordination and administration roles can help circumvent or overcome them. It concludes by acknowledging the author's place of privilege as an academic in Food Dignity, and by re-envisioning her role within the project as a 'co-passionate navigator'. It examines the importance of co-passionate navigators in CBPR and describes their role in changing the campus–community research landscape, making CBPR partnerships more just and equitable for all partners.