African Americans engage in the least amount of regular physical activity and have diets that are high in saturated fats, which result in their extremely high rates of cardiovascular diseases as compared to other Americans. It is for that reason that I am interested in developing the Families Implementing good Health Traditions for Life (FLIGHT of Life) program. FIGHT for Life will be a community-based intervention pilot study to improve physical activity and dietary habits among African American Families. In the five years of this project, including training, I plan to conduct community assessments using Fulton County Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System and focus groups, pilot test and conduct the intervention, and collect baseline assessment and follow-up evaluations. I anticipate training 20 families with at least 2 members per family (10 families in both the intervention and control groups). Although many other interventions have been attempted to achieve similar changes in this high-risk population, few have achieved more than modes change over the long-term and even fewer have specifically tested interventions directed at the entire family. Impact of this program will be measured not only by changes in family diet and physical activity habits, but also in reduction of cardiovascular risk factors such as fat intake, hypertension and cholesterol. My long term career goals are to 1) elucidate those life and social constraints that put African Americans at higher risk for cardiovascular disease; 2) identify innovative methods for modifying lifestyles of African Americans in order to prevent cardiovascular disease; and 3) test in a community-based randomized controlled trial if reduction of particular life/social constraints lowers cardiovascular risk. I have come to realize that my training has not been adequate for me to do such research. Moreover, I see the need to clearly understand more basic physiological and neuroendocrine underpinnings of the disease with which I wish to intervene. It is for these reasons that I am applying for the Mentored Minority Faculty Career Development Award.