Soon after its establishment in 2002, the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University (IPH) developed a high priority to address the health of minority populations and the amelioration of health disparities. IPH approached their health disparities focus by establishing a significant commitment to community engagement activities. Supported by a planning grant (R24 MD001657) from NCMHD, we instituted a project, still ongoing, called "Accountable Communities: Healthy Together." The community group with whom we partnered was NPU-V, an inner city Atlanta community burdened by poor health and numerous social and environmental inequities. NPU-V consists of five in-town neighborhoods: Adair Park, Mechanicsville, Peoplestown, Pittsburgh, and Summerhill. Capitol Gateway, a recently redeveloped mixed-income housing community, is also in NPUV. According to the 2000 Census, the total population of NPU-V is 15,825 -with neighborhoods ranging in size from 2,200 to 3,500 residents each. African Americans make up 92% of the NPU-V population (compared to 54% city-wide). The population of NPU-V residents is 54% female. The unemployment rate for NPU-V residents is 20% compared to 14% city-wide. Among NPU-V families, 68% have household incomes of less than $25,000, compared to only 38.1% city-wide. In a greater metropolitan area wdth a median income of $70,250, the vast majority of NPUV residents have incomes at or below 36% of area median income. Owmer occupied housing in NPU-V is 21%, half the city-wide prevalence. In NPU-V, 25.4% of all major crimes reported are violent, compared to 16.8% city-wdde;and 27.8% of high school students graduate compared to 56.9% citywdde. Historically, the neighborhoods of NPU-V were home to a diverse population. Near the turn of the 20th Century, Adair Park was a predominantly white neighborhood of blue collar workers. Mechanicsville was a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhood with Western and Eastern European Jews, Greeks and African Americans. Peoplestovra was also home to Jewish immigrants, African Americans, and native whites, while Pittsburgh was founded as an African-American neighborhood to provide a haven for black residents and businesses during segregation. Summerhill was also diverse, with African Americans, Jewish immigrants, and native-born whites residing there. While the neighborhoods of NPU-V thrived from the 1870s to the 1940s, they began to decline during the 1950s. The nortiiern expansion of Atlanta's business center lured many wealthy and powerful white residents northward. Middle-income African Americans also moved to the suburbs, and the diversity of the neighborhoods declined.
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