259336 Building policy change capacity to advance environmental justice research and advocacy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:50 AM - 10:10 AM

Christina Hardy, MPH , Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
David Caldwell , Coalition to End Environmental Racism, Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, Chapel Hill, NC
Naeema Muhammad , Concerned Citizens of Tillery, North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, Rocky Mount, NC
Bonnie Jones, MSW, MSPH , Community Engagement Core, TraCS, Chapel Hill, NC
Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD , Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Elvira Mebane , United Voices, United Voices of Efland-Cheeks, Efland, NC
Introduction: Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is increasingly focused on policy change. In North Carolina, community and academic partners affiliated with diverse CBPR projects recently came together to participate in a “train-the-trainers” workshop, Communities Working in Partnership (CWP): Building Capacity for Policy Change, conducted by the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center. The training highlighted a locally successful policy/advocacy initiative which is documenting the environmental impacts of a landfill bordering an historic African American community and advocating for its closure.

Methods: We integrated the CWP framework into research capacity-building workshops, sponsored by UNC's Clinical and Translational Science Award Institute. Our team of community-academic partners developed a workshop with examples of how two communities partnered with universities to use research to bring about change in environmental impacts of landfills and industrial hog operations .The CWP components provided tools, such as assignments on prioritizing advocacy strategies, to enhance participants' policy advocacy skills and knowledge.

Results: The “Environmental Justice in Community Health” workshops were delivered in three regions across the state, training a total of 43 participants. Evaluations show strong evidence of the effectiveness of the workshops and participants' increased capacity for policy-advocacy. These workshops served as a springboard in two of the regions for ongoing efforts to bring attention to environmental justice issues and to combine research with policy-advocacy.

Discussion: This presentation highlights the success of merging the CWP Training with the experiences and voice of Community Experts, to enhance community-academic partnerships success in research and advocacy efforts.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
By the end of our presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Identify aspects of our capacity-building approach to research which served to strengthen and inspire new ideas for environmental justice policy advocacy 2. Describe the development of a collaborative workshop presentation that prepares research partnerships to plan for long-term strategies that bring about community-driven change

Keywords: Advocacy, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I lead and contributed significantly to the abstract, and served as the Project Manager for the project being discussed in the abstract.
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.