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2016 - National Workshop

The African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) hosted its 7th national workshop in Philadelphia, PA, August 17 – 19, 2016. The workshop entitled, “Interdisciplinary and Cross-Sector Approaches to Advancing Black Community Health:  New Collaborations,” brought together academic researchers and community stakeholders to advance the dialogue about the priorities, needs, and guidelines for research and interventions in black communities related to nutrition, physical activity, and weight control.

The 2016 workshop launched AACORN’s new and expanding vision to incorporate “building a culture of health” as recommended by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). We focused on how black communities can design, implement, and benefit from new collaborative models designed to enable community members to live healthier lives. The overarching workshop objective was to identify high priority pathways for complementary and integrated solutions across multiple sectors. These solutions would inherently involve public and private actors, e.g., in economics and finance, food systems, education, housing, transportation, community design, and commerce in concert with public health and health care initiatives.

This workshop was the largest ever (116 attendees). Funds to support certain aspects of the event came from the NIH, RWJF, HHS Office of Minority Health, Drexel University, Rutgers University, and the Yancy-Edgley Fellowship. We also hosted a pre-workshop meeting for Dr. Bettina Beech’s HBCU PRIDE training program. The 7th national workshop allowed us to expand our thinking and networking into other societal or disciplinary sectors. It received highly positive evaluations.