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We know in Newark and in cities all across America that there are families that don't let their children play because there's no safe places to play, no green spaces to play. They want to keep their kids in the house for the basic human need of security.

 -Newark Mayor Cory  Booker

Connecting Safety to Chronic Disease

The effects of violence are pervasive. When people don't feel safe in their communities, they are less likely to use local parks, access public transportation or let their children walk to school or play outside. Until now, very little research on the impact of community violence on healthy eating and activity--and potential solutions--has been done. With funding from Kaiser Permanente, Prevention Institute has released a ground-breaking report on the issue, Addressing the Intersection: Preventing Violence and Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living, which takes a detailed look at the links between violence, healthy eating and activity. The paper's findings provide a strong case for why it's critical to focus on preventing violence if we are to be successful in preventing chronic disease--a growing national priority. We encourage you to refer to this document as a tool in helping to make the case for preventing violence before it occurs.

Building on the findings and recommendations in Addressing the Intersection, Prevention Institute is coordinating a Convergence Partnership funded effort to support this work. In an innovative pilot program, six sites across the country (Chula Vista, CA; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Louisville, KY; Oakland, CA; and Philadelphia, PA) are developing approaches that support healthy eating and activity while addressing violence. We look forward to sharing the success stories of these communities with you.

Read Addressing the Intersections.

content separatorFirst Lady Michelle Obama connects safety to healthy eating and physical activity with new report

The linkages between safety and chronic disease are being supported on a national level, as well. Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled a groundbreaking report from the inter-agency White House Task Force on Child Obesity. UNITY was especially pleased to see that the report acknowledged the important role of safety in communities. Mrs. Obama plans to increase safe walking to schools by 50% in five years, and the committee recommendations include strategies for increasing safety in communities.

Read the task force recommendations here.

content separatorNew Report Details Living in "Survival Mode:" Why Some African Americans Thrive, While Others Merely Survive Emotional Challenges

In spite of their challenging environments and life situations, positive coping behaviors and protective factors may explain why some low-income urban youth who experience ongoing stress and trauma in their lives thrive, while others crumble, according to a new report released by MEE (Motivational Educational Entertainment) Productions, Inc., in partnership with the Washington DC Department of Mental Health. An extraordinarily frank report, Moving Beyond Survival Mode: Promoting Mental Wellness and Resilience as a Way to Cope with Urban Trauma, summarizes findings from 14 focus groups conducted with low-income Black mothers and young urban adults in four American cities in 2009. The report offers sobering insights on the stresses and traumas of unrelenting poverty and violence; what it's like to live in "survival mode;" and the major barriers that inhibit access to community mental health services.

Read the press release from MEE Productions here.

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UNITY is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the CDC.  UNITY is also funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation.

"Violence is not the problem of one neighborhood or group, and the response and solutions are not the responsibility of one sector of the community or of one agency, professional group, or business. Coming together and owning this problem and the solutions are central."

-Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Harvard School of Public Health

UNITY is an initiative of Prevention Institute
Visit our website: www.preventioninstitute.org
Prevention Institute 221 Oak Street Oakland, CA 94607
t 510.444.7738 | email: prevent@preventioninstitute.org