For this renewal, the NYU Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) will focus solely on the environmental impacts and health issues of concern for our two already-established Environmental Justice (EJ) community-partners including members of the Ramapough Lenape Tribal Nation (living in NJ and NY areas nearby the NYU Center), and the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) who serve NJ communities living in the Ironbound section of Newark and around the Passaic River/Newark Bay vicinity. Working closely with our CBO partners, we will provide local community members/stakeholders with information and tools to reduce risk and protect human health via a series of collaboratively developed socially, culturally and linguistically sensitive outreach and engagement initiatives. Through these community-academic partnerships, NYU COEC will: (1) enhance the relevance of Center science findings to address identified environmental priorities of the communities; (2) increase local community stakeholder's environmental health knowledge and, in turn, capacity to reduce exposures; and (3) promote healthful behavior change-avoidance actions that reduce exposures through targeted outreach and engagement efforts. The overarching goals of COEC are to: Engage our community stakeholders to optimally shape research project design and develop effective strategies to translate findings to community residents/leaders, elected officials, and local organizations; Create a continuous bi-directional communication flow between the Center and community stakeholders to collaboratively develop effective ways to disseminate knowledge from the Center's research across impacted communities; Develop research partnerships among Center investigators and community partners based upon mutual trust, engagement, and communication at the outset and sustain ongoing community engagement/community ownership of Center research and strategies; and Build capacity of community stakeholders and policy makers to use Center research to address environmental issues/related health disorders related to the ongoing NYU Center Working Groups.
Three Specific Aims are proposed to: (1) Foster community-engaged environmental health science research and project partnerships between community stakeholders and Center scientists to hold targeted collaboration trainings for Center scientists and our CBOs from the Ironbound District/Newark Bay and the Ramapough Tribal Nation; (2) Strengthen capacity of Center scientists and community partners to engage in Center COEC activities and increase community stakeholders' awareness of Center science; and (3) Develop community-based education materials and community-centered online dissemination platforms to support bi-directional communication between NYU Center, community stakeholders, students, policymakers and general public. COEC direction will be guided by a Community Steering Committee (newly-populated for the renewal), and program evaluation and success will be determined by NYU COEC Scientific Evaluator.
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