An Eventful Spring 2014 Semester
CEMHD had a busy Spring Semester. It hosted two major events and co-sponsored a major student-to- community outreach initiative, the later of which drew local television, radio and print news coverage.
The Urban Hassle Index Workshop with Dr. David Miller
In mid-March the Center hosted a workshop with Dr. David Miller from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Miller has developed an Urban Hassle Index
to measure the levels of the toxic levels of stress that urban African Americans experience in their daily lives. Members of the faculty, community and staff from the NYS Department of Health attended this interactive workshop and planned to continue working with Dr. Miller as the index evolves.
Tenth Anniversary Health Disparities Symposium
Later that month, the Center organized a very well-attended health disparities symposium in honor of its tenth anniversary. Faculty members who did projects funded through the Center gave presentations on their research. Dr. Bruce Link, of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and a member of CEMHD's Program Advisory Committee, gave the keynote presentation, which was entitled, "Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Health Disparities." The complete program for the symposium is available here
University at Albany President, Dr. Robert Jones, addressing the symposium
Audience members discuss the presentations
A Walk to Cure Violence
With a Diversity Transformation Fund award, the Center also facilitated a connection between the student organization, Doctors 4 Hope, and Albany Cure Violence to plan and implement a Walk to Cure Violence on April 26th. Many different student groups supported with walk and associated events. CEMHD interns Cory DeSole, Meaghan Farley, Brittany Kong, and Anita Sam-King also assisted Cure Violence in organizing the event, along with their other duties.
The students walked through the West Hill section of Arbor Hill with members of the community. The walk started at the Cure Violence office on the corner of Henry Johnson Blvd and Clinton Ave, proceeded through West Hill, and ended at the Lake House in Washington Park with a program that was emceed by the Cure Violence Director, Clarence Jackson, and Toyin Ben-Shidah the Outreach Director of Doctors 4 Hope. The program included a speech by Mayor Sheehan, talks by victims of violence, and dance performances by two student groups. Doctors 4 Hope also organized children's activities inside of the Lake House. We are very proud of Doctors 4 Hope for proposing and implementing this project, and thankful to the other student organizations that supported it.
Students gather at Cure Violence office with community members
Students at the Cure Violence office with community members before the walk
March through West Hill led by Cure Violence Director, Clarence Jackson
Mayor Sheehan addressed the rally
Toyin Ben-Shidah from Doctors 4 Hope addressing the crowd
Doctors 4 Hope Executive Board 2014
CEMHD Interns Go to Work with
Albany Cure Violence for a Second Semester
In the fall 2013, the Center partnered with the Community and Public Service Program to develop an internship in which students assist the Trinity Alliance’s anti-gun violence program, Cure Violence (formally known as SNUG, which is “guns” spelled backwards). Modeled after Chicago Cease Fire, the organization uses a public health approach to interrupt the epidemic of gun violence before it spreads, which makes it of particular interest to the Center. Field staff, called Violence Interrupters, from the neighborhoods it serves and trains them to work with people at highest risk for perpetrating or becoming a victim of gun violence. It also conducts community mobilization and outreach activities to create a visible community presence after shootings and to change social norms about gun violence.
Interns Cory DeSole and Brittany Kong at the Walk to Cure Violence
These days, college students possess excellent computer and social networking skills that can be put to great use in grassroots community organizations like SNUG, which tend to operate with a bare-bones office staff. Our enthusiastic CEMHD interns have made real contributions to the organization. Among other things, they have redesigned printed materials, including posters and brochures, helped the Community Outreach and Mobilization coordinator, Charee Tarver, create a website, and have improved information sharing about shooting incidents among SNUG staff. They also help update SNUG’s Facebook page, assist with planning community events, and have even attended neighborhood shooting responses. Plans are in the works to involve interns in direct involvement with the community, such as working with churches and local businesses.
In return for sharing their computer skills, the interns learn about SNUG’s public health approach to gun violence, issues facing people in poor neighborhoods, how grassroots organizations do community mobilization, and nonprofit communications.
In the fall, we sent the first three interns to the program. Everyone was extremely happy with the experience.
This spring we sent 4 students to work with SNUG and are assisting with a collaboration between SNUG and the student group Doctors 4 Hope.
Spring interns: Cory DeSole, Meaghan Farley, Brittany Kong, and Anita Sam-King
Fall interns: Yerusa Asher, Patrisha Kritchman and Shanice Saunders
CEMHD has been very proud of the contributions these three students have made to SNUG and will continue to run the internship program next semester. For more information on this internship program contact Dr. Elizabeth Campisi, Special Projects Director, at 442-4918, firstname.lastname@example.org.