242239 From turf wars to fertile grounds: Urban farming to prevent violence

Monday, October 31, 2011

Francisco Gallardo , Gang Rescue and Support Project, Denver, CO
Eric Kornacki , Revision International, Denver, CO
Rachel Cleaves, MURP , College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
Amanda Vigil , GRASP, Denver, CO
Adrienna Corrales , Lead Promotor@/Outreach Specialist/Marketing, Sisters of Color United for Education, Denver, CO
Jennifer Wieczorek, MPH , Denver Health and Hospitality Authority, Denver, CO
Paul Lopez, City Councilman , City Council District 3, City of Denver, Denver, CO
Daniel Almanzán , Youth Program, GRASP, Denver, CO
The presentation will describe a cross-cutting strategy that brings together violence prevention and obesity prevention advocates. The Westwood community of Denver, CO is poor, has a high crime rate and high rate of obesity and other weight and heart disease-related illnesses. Through new, innovative partnerships, healthy eating and active living is being achieved through a unique avenue: violence prevention. This 18-month pilot project funded by the Convergence Partnership implemented evidence-based strategies that both prevent violence and promote healthy eating and active living. The Westwood partners focused on creating alternatives to crime and violence through 1) sustainable jobs in urban agriculture for at-risk youth and gang-affiliated families at a local training farm and backyard gardens, 2) neighborhood beautification through art murals by youth, and 3) capacity building of youth and community residents to advocate for policy change. The presentation will share the project outcomes and learnings from bringing together a multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary partnership, which includes a city council member, the public health department, youth, and community-based organizations focused on urban farming, gang prevention and reduction, and community capacity building. These organizations have a long history of community work in health, community organizing, and violence prevention; however, this pilot is the first time these organizations, with seemingly disparate missions, have collaborated. The collaboration of violence prevention and public health is a new but promising field in the promotion of healthy eating and active living. The organizations bring separate but complementary experience and knowledge to the field presenting a rich learning opportunity.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
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:
• Demonstrate connection of community violence to healthy eating and active living • Identify collaborative strategies to address violence, healthy eating, and active living at the neighborhood level • Discuss potential challenges and opportunities that arise when working with different disciplines

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Francisco Gallardo is qualified to present because he is Program Director of GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project) which is an intervention and prevention program that works with youth who are at-risk of gang involvement or who are presently active in gangs. As a former gang member, he knows first-hand the pain many of our communities face. GRASP has worked hard through our collaborations to connect youth and families to healthy choices in the community. We have engaged at-risk youth in working in a community garden and learning about healthy eating, as well as creating murals portraying positive messages to the community. These Choices promote healing and draw the link between Violence Prevention and Healthy Living.
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.