National Program Launched to Strengthen Advocacy and Reduce Health Inequities in Communities of Color

$15 million investment through Communities Creating Healthy Environments seeks to improve food and recreation access by engaging local residents.

    • January 17, 2010

Ten local advocacy organizations have been awarded grants through a new national program to develop community-based strategies that will build and sustain healthy neighborhoods from East Los Angeles to Harlem.

Chosen for their strong track record on social, economic and environmental justice issues, the groups are the first to be funded through Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE). The program is an integral part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work to reverse the U.S. childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. Up to 10 more organizations will be funded later this year.

The selected groups are based within communities of color and indigenous nations. All aim to galvanize residents to become more involved in the policy-making process, develop effective interventions to address root causes of childhood obesity in their communities and increase public support for changes to help families lead healthier lives.

The following are the first 10 organizations to be funded through CCHE:

  • Inner City Struggle, East Los Angeles, Calif., empowers youth and adults to advocate for school policy changes.
  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Oakland, Calif., works with low-income Asian immigrants and refugee families.
  • People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), San Francisco, Calif., mobilizes low-income homeowners and public housing residents.
  • Padres Unidos, Denver, Colo., addresses issues affecting Latino youth and families, including school policy initiatives.
  • Safe Streets, Strong Communities, New Orleans, La., leads low-income women of color on criminal justice and mental health issues.
  • Indigenous Educational Network of Turtle Island, Bemidji, Minn., addresses pollution of tribal lands and consequent health impacts.
  • Rocky Boy Health Board, Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, Mont., administers a range of youth health programs for its nation.
  • Southwest Organizing Project, Albuquerque, N.M., advocates on issues from minimum wage increases to health care for uninsured families.
  • WE ACT for Environmental Justice, New York, N.Y., seeks to improve environmental health for low-income communities in Northern Manhattan.
  • Freedom, Inc., Madison, Wis., emphasizes political education with young people in the local Hmong, Black and Latino communities.

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