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Collaborative Projects

The Network's newly created Research, Evaluation, and Dissemination Core (REDC) is based at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and will serve as a coordinating center to support AACORN-initiated research. The REDC will also provide a mechanism for the Network to offer technical assistance to select community projects nationwide. Following are collaborative projects supported by AACORN's REDC.

AACORN Awarded A One-Year Grant from The Aetna Foundation

The African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) was awarded a one-year grant from The Aetna Foundation to examine how variations in food prices influence food and beverage purchases among African-American women. The study began February 1, 2011. The goal of this research is to assess the potential for adjustments to food prices for high calorie-low nutrient foods and beverages to discourage their consumption and encourage the purchase of healthier alternatives. At the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), where AACORN is based, Shiriki Kumanyika (AACORN Founder and Chair) and Katie DiSantis (AACORN Senior Researcher) are leading the project activities. Collaborators on this project include Sonya Grier of American University (AACORN's Director of Marketing Research Initiatives, H. Shelton Brown of University of Texas (Austin), and J. Michael Oakes of the University of Minnesota.

Developing Community Action Strategies to Improve the Food Marketing Environments of African American Children

In March 2010, AACORN was awarded a three-year U13 grant funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) (Grant number: 1U13HD063127-01) to support engagement of youth and adult community members in planning and implementing two community-focused, national workshops, in 2010 and 2012, reflecting community priorities for social change.

In 2008, as part of a five-year research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AACORN funded and is coordinating a multi-site, community-partnered research project to explore perceptions of food marketing environments of African American children and families. Project Directors are AACORN members based at Duke University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Illinois at Chicago; and University of Maryland. Selected Phase I results were presented at The Obesity Society's meeting in October 2009.

FriarVision Fitness Fanatics Initiative (FriarFit) - Business Case Analysis

FriarFit is a new public-private partnership that began in 2008 with The California Endowment (TCE), the Professional Athletes' Council, and Dr. Antronette Yancey at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health. AACORN is working in partnership with a California-based consulting firm, through a subcontract agreement, to support the overall evaluation plan for this two-year project. The project will be completed this year. The project is funded by TCE.

Philadelphia Urban Food and Fitness Alliance (PUFFA) - Policy Project

PUFFA is a W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded initiative. AACORN's REDC identified and conducted analysis of city, county and regional polices and potential policy initiatives to support the development of a proposal to implement a Community Action Plan (CAP) to address food and fitness access in Philadelphia.