African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network
Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
8th Floor Blockley Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104

AACORN | African American Collaborative Obesity Network

2014 National Workshop Summary

To identify communication strategies to reach diverse audiences with evidence about obesity in black communities, including information on health effects and potential solutions, the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) held its 6th national workshop in Charlotte, NC on            August 13 – 15, 2014.

The workshop entitled, "Bridging Communication Gaps to Achieve Healthy Weight in Black Communities," engaged a diverse audience of community-based partners, faith-based leaders, academic researchers, scholars-in-training, and media professionals. Potential audiences to be reached include community leaders, policy makers, employers, and community members.

The goal of the workshop was to identify and disseminate “best practices” to enhance the ability of academic and community-based researchers, and community advocates to communicate evidence effectively, using strategies identified during the workshop. During the workshop, participants heard a series of presentations from experts in obesity prevention, advertising and marketing, communications, journalism, and entertainment education. The SMCRE (Sender, Message, Channel, Receiver, and Effect) Framework was used to explore Who? Says What? by Way of? to Whom? with What Effect? Interactive learning activities included focused roundtable discussions and team collaborations with communications and marketing experts to brainstorm approaches for reaching different segments of the black community with health messages.

Beyond the content, participants had the opportunity to share research findings and experiences and learn from others as well as build and strengthen their networks of colleagues and potential partners.

Next Steps

AACORN is working with workshop participants and speakers to synthesize the best practices discussed at the workshop. The workshop proceedings will be forthcoming and available on AACORN’s website.  A scientific publication will also be generated as part of the network’s ongoing field-building activities.

Open Access Resources from the Workshop

CDC’s Division of Community Health “Our Community Deserves” Educational Initiative (tools that can be used to complement community health messaging and education outreach)

CDC’s Division of Community Health "Making the Business Case” Videos

HipHop Public Health (Cartoons, Video Games, Music)!/register

Sesame Street Food For Thought (Parent and Caregivers Toolkit)



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