Drexel UHC and Congreso launch website, map data for community violence prevention
June 15, 2018
In a 2017 survey, 44 percent of Philadelphia residents said that public safety was the biggest problem facing the city. Compared to the rest of Philadelphia, the eastern North Philadelphia section — which includes neighborhoods like Kensington, Port Richmond and Juniata Park — experiences violent crime at a higher rate. Understanding the issue is the first step in creating solutions and preventing community violence.
That’s what a recent partnership between Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. and the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative set out to achieve. By combining different data sources to describe neighborhood violence and taking inventory of existing violence prevention assets, the team developed a profile of violence needs and resources specific to eastern North Philadelphia. Led by Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH, co-lead of the UHC Policy and Community Engagement Core, the profile has been in development for two years.
On Tuesday, June 12, Drexel UHC and Congreso co-hosted a community event to unveil the community profile and data on a new website, NUAVNow.org. Standing for Neighborhood United Against Violence, NUAV outlines data, assets and resources for community organizations focused on violence prevention. The website is meant to be a living resource for the community and its members. The data and maps available on the website will be useful for organizations and groups looking to identify trends and describe needs in eastern North Philadelphia. The community launch event provided community stakeholders with a tour of the website, as well the resource guide, maps and other data elements. Additionally, a facilitated discussion was held among attendees on next steps for expanding successful violence prevention efforts and pursuing the creation of new efforts.
“We wanted to provide numbers specific to their neighborhoods so that they had what they needed, at the ready, when they needed to write grants or advocate for services or policy changes,” said Carroll-Scott. “The idea to make this an evolving interface came from community stakeholders. We responded by creating a website and a sustainability plan that includes a manual for Congreso staff to run and maintain the website, including ways that users can provide content updates.”
The community profile was one of the inaugural pilot-funded projects awarded by the Drexel UHC in 2016. As an academic and community partnership, it allowed for co-learning opportunities about violence in an urban area, while sparking actionable solutions and engagement among community organizations and residents.
For Samantha Rivera, MPH, DrPH(c), UHC doctoral research fellow, seeing the results of the project’s effort was especially important. Prior to joining DSPH as a student, Samantha was the director of primary care and supportive services at Congreso, where she oversaw Congreso’s Federally Qualified Health Center and promoted health programming that integrated health prevention and primary care into family wellness and social services.
For Carroll-Scott, community-partnered research projects are an effective way to put UHC’s neighborhood-level data into the hands of those who can use it to achieve community change. It also provides an opportunity for students, such as Samantha and the two DSPH MPH students who worked on this project to apply their coursework to the real-life research challenges of community-based organizations at the front lines of addressing health inequities in the populations they serve.
To learn more about Neighborhood United Against Violence, visit the website at NUAVNow.org.
Read more about the partnership
Learn about UHC Pilot Funding