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Grant Supports 'KEEPING WATCH ON WATER'

The UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture will receive a $10,000 National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Challenge America grant to support programming by the Projective Eye Gallery for the "KEEPING WATCH on WATER: City of Creeks" project. The NEA received 347 eligible Challenge America applications and will award 163 grants for a total of $1.63 million.

Organized by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture, KEEPING WATCH is a three-year initiative designed to foster collaboration across disciplines and interest groups to engage the public in local environmental issues. The focus for 2015 is water quality and in particular, urban streams. With some 80 named creeks, most of which originate in Mecklenburg County, Charlotte is indeed a "City of Creeks." These waterways have shaped the development of the city and have played important roles in the lives of its citizens.

Johnson Foundation Poll Recognizes Research

"Por Nuestros Ojos: Understanding Social Determinants of Health through the Eyes of Youth," co-authored by a number of UNC Charlotte researchers, was named among the four most influential research pieces related to health care disparities for 2014, according to the Culture of Health Reader Poll by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, considered the largest philanthropic efforts devoted to public health.

The article details a "photo voice" project conducted by the Mecklenburg Partnership for Primary care Research (MAPPR) as part of a National Institutes of Health-funded study on the social determinants of health of the Hispanic community in Charlotte. Photo voice is a participatory technique used to illustrate the lived experience of groups from their perspective. Hispanic youth were paired with UNC Charlotte students and asked to take pictures of elements in their neighborhoods that positively or negatively influence their health and explain what they are portraying. Their work influenced the development of nine Community Wellness Fairs and two community health groups.

MAPPR is a trans-disciplinary team studying the barriers to health care access for underserved and vulnerable populations in Charlotte. The team’s mission is to bring together community members, organizations and researchers to improve community health and quality of life. MAPPR is a multi-institutional network with researchers from Carolinas Healthcare System’s Department of Family Medicine and UNC Charlotte’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Metropolitan Studies and Extended Academic Programs Office and the College of Health and Human Services.