227198 Challenges and facilitating factors of community organizing for policy change: Lessons learned from a policy advocacy capacity building training for residents of Detroit

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Rebecca Cheezum, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Akosua Burris, BA , Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Detroit, MI
Barbara A. Israel, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Chris M. Coombe, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Robert McGranaghan, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Ashley O'Toole, MPH, MSW , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Michael Anderson , REACH-Detroit Partnership, Detroit, MI
Sonya Grant, MSW , Community Action Against Asthma, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
There have been increasing calls for reducing health disparities through policy change and engaging underrepresented communities in the policy change process. In order to increase capacity of Detroit residents to advocate for policy change, The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center developed and implemented the Neighborhoods Working in Partnership (NWP) program, a community-based participatory research project. Community leaders and academic partners conducted a four-session, skill-building training on advocating for policy change to address social justice issues. A total of 228 community residents from across several Detroit neighborhoods participated in the training.

To evaluate the impact of the NWP project, five group interviews were conducted six months after the training with adult and youth participants who were identified as being active in policy advocacy activities. In this presentation, we will describe the challenges and facilitating factors of organizing for policy change that these participants identified. These factors include those related to working with other community members and groups, identifying and prioritizing policy issues, challenging structures of power, and working with policy makers. We will describe lessons learned, including next steps for increasing community members' capacity to advocate for policy change.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the rationale for the Neighborhoods Working in Partnership project; 2) List facilitating factors and challenges experienced by community members advocating for policy change; 3) Describe next steps that the NWP will take in order to increase community membersí capacity to advocate for policy change.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student has been working on this project. I have been involved in the program evaluation of the NWP project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.