The Project GRACE (Growing, Reaching, Advocating for Change and Empowerment) Consortium is academic-community collaboration between partners that share the common goal of eliminating health disparities in African American communities through community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches to partnership development and intervention design (R24MD001671). Some of the highest rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the Southeast are in Edgecombe and Nash counties in North Carolina, with astonishing rates in African American youth. The realization of this health crisis, reached jointly by all partners, was the impetus for the creation of this partnership. The Project GRACE Consortium is made up of African American residents of Edgecombe and Nash counties, leaders from community-based organizations, two public health agencies, and UNC researchers;each member is committed to ongoing planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of interventions to reduce the risk of HIV and other STIs. In our planning grant, we used a rigorous approach to both develop this partnership and intervention and also identify community needs and assets in Edgecombe and Nash counties. A conceptual framework that recognizes the influence of behavioral, social, and physical environmental factors on HIV/STI risk in African American rural communities has guided data collection and intervention design. The intervention's design has been a result of a collaborative process that recognizes the strength of the community and capitalizes on the foundation of the Project GRACE partnership. Our intervention will extend the lay health advisor (LHA) model through the innovative use of lay health advisor parent-youth dyads (""""""""Ambassadors"""""""") to reduce HIV/STI risk in parents and youth they reach out to (""""""""Allies""""""""). This multilevel, multigenerational intervention draws elements from several health behavior theories with the intended outcome of reducing the risk of HIV and other STIs in youth through sexual abstinence, condom use among sexually active youth, healthy dating practices, parental communication and monitoring, and community advocacy. Our long-term goal is the development, testing, and dissemination of culturally relevant and sustainable interventions that reduce the risk of HIV and other STIs in African American youth.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN (01))
Program Officer
Dankwa-Mullan, Irene
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
Zip Code
Ritchwood, Tiarney D; Powell, Terrinieka W; Metzger, Isha W et al. (2017) Understanding the relationship between religiosity and caregiver-adolescent communication about sex within African-American families. J Child Fam Stud 26:2979-2989
Dave, Gaurav; Ritchwood, Tiarney; Young, Tiffany L et al. (2017) Evaluating Teach One Reach One-An STI/HIV Risk-Reduction Intervention to Enhance Adult-Youth Communication About Sex and Reduce the Burden of HIV/STI. Am J Health Promot 31:465-475
Ritchwood, Tiarney D; Penn, Dolly; Peasant, Courtney et al. (2017) Condom Use Self-Efficacy Among Younger Rural Adolescents: The Influence of Parent-Teen Communication, and Knowledge of and Attitudes Toward Condoms. J Early Adolesc 37:267-283
Ritchwood, Tiarney D; Dave, Gaurav; Carthron, Dana L et al. (2016) Adolescents and parental caregivers as lay health advisers in a community-based risk reduction intervention for youth: baseline data from Teach One, Reach One. AIDS Care 28:537-42
Ritchwood, Tiarney D; Albritton, Tashuna; Akers, Aletha et al. (2015) The effect of Teach One Reach One (TORO) on youth acceptance of couple violence. J Child Fam Stud 24:3805-3815
Cené, Crystal W; Haymore, Laura Beth; Enga, Zoe et al. (2015) Data Collection and Management in Community Engaged Research: Lessons Learned From Two Community-Based Participatory Research Partnerships. Prog Community Health Partnersh 9:413-22
Albritton, Tashuna; Hodge-Sallah, Stepheria; Akers, Aletha et al. (2014) A Process Evaluation of an HIV/STI Intervention for Rural African American Youth. Qual Health Res 24:969-982
Cené, Crystal W; Haymore, Laura Beth; Ellis, Danny et al. (2013) Implementation of the power to prevent diabetes prevention educational curriculum into rural African American communities: a feasibility study. Diabetes Educ 39:776-85
Lloyd, Stacey W; Ferguson, Yvonne Owens; Corbie-Smith, Giselle et al. (2012) The role of public schools in HIV prevention: perspectives from African Americans in the rural South. AIDS Educ Prev 24:41-53
Corbie-Smith, Giselle; Adimora, Adaora A; Youmans, Selena et al. (2011) Project GRACE: a staged approach to development of a community-academic partnership to address HIV in rural African American communities. Health Promot Pract 12:293-302

Showing the most recent 10 out of 18 publications