New grants to Center for Equity Promotion fund projects in Oregon and Central America

Charles Martinez

The University of Oregon's Center for Equity Promotion, an outreach unit of the College of Education, has received two separate grants totaling $1.6 million for projects in Oregon and Central America.

The principal investigator on both projects is UO Associate Professor Charles Martinez.

“Both of these projects are the result of more than 15 years of our work with Latino families in Oregon and beyond,” Martinez said. “Our center is an example of how the UO is forging community partnerships at home and abroad; in this case we hope to improve the lives of families and youth in underserved populations.”

“Familias Saludables,” (“Healthy Families”) is a community-based participatory research project between the CEQP and the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation in Woodburn. The rapid growth of Latino populations in states such as Oregon – combined with unprepared health and social-service systems – can produce a higher incidence of disease, including chronic conditions. The UO project will partner directly with Latino communities and leaders in Marion County to identify priority areas for improving health outcomes among these populations and develop community-based interventions that target family health.

The project is funded through a three-year grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The second grant, “PREVENIR: Increasing School Success and Preventing Youth Violence and Gang Involvement in Central America,” is a partnership between the CEQP, the UO’s Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior, the University of Washington's Partners for our Children and Deutsche Geselleschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – a German non-governmental international development agency). The project is funded through an initial two-year grant from GIZ.

The PREVENIR project will develop interventions aimed at preventing violence and improving outcomes for youth in the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua – countries with long and enduring histories of exposure to violence. The interventions will be adapted from evidence-based practices developed in the U.S., and, in collaboration with Ministries of Education and non-governmental organizations in the region, local professionals will be trained in the adaptation, implementation and program evaluation processes.

- by Cody Pinkston, UO College of Education