King Center, CDC Expand Youth Violence Prevention and Health Disparities Partnership

4/10/2012 King Center News

Pictured: Atlantans get blood pressure checked at annual Health Fair co-sponsored by The King Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the King Holiday observance. The Health Fair provided a broad range of  health care tests and screenings worth approximately $3000 --- free of charge for hundreds of Atlantans.

ATLANTA. . . The King Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have expanded their partnership originally entered into in 2008, to prevent youth violence and to address public health  threats that disproportionately impact specific racial and socio-economic groups and communities.

In announcing the expanded partnership, Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, said “The King Center’s partnership with the CDC has tremendous potential for reducing youth violence and helping to correct these disparities, through educational outreach and using the King Center’s resources to promote community awareness, action, and mobilization.”

The two organizations will work together to build the capacity of the King Center to take a leadership role in working in and with communities to address a wide range of health concerns, with an emphasis on Youth Violence Prevention. Other key health problems The King Center and CDC will address through this partnership include: the prevention of intentional and non-intentional injuries; the prevention of infectious Diseases, including HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention; environmental health issues and threats;  and, birth defects and developmental disabilities, including sickle cell anemia. Mr. Carlton Duncan, a senior CDC staff member has been assigned to work with the King Center on this effort.

In addition to youth violence, the communities affected by these issues often experience premature mortality, high rates of morbidity, undue financial burdens and poor quality of life, forms of institutional violence and injustice Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed concern about during his leadership of the American Civil Rights Movement and the Poor Peoples’ Campaign in particular .

The King Center, as the official living memorial to Dr. King charged with carrying forward his unfinished work for a nonviolent society, and the CDC will address concerns regarding the effectiveness of current intervention strategies. The partnership will explore the role and involvement of communities and how they can be strengthened to promote nonviolent conflict-reconciliation among young people and facilitate the reduction of health equity gaps along racial and socioeconomic lines.

To help meet this challenge, Ms. King said that The King Center and the CDC will engage in and promote community-wide dialogue about violence-prevention, health care policy and work together to identify issues and areas for action. The partnership will address the public health agenda at state,  local, national, and international levels, and The King Center will sponsor and/or co-sponsor forums, symposia, health fairs and other events, as well as support educational initiatives through the King Center webpage and integrate health awareness messaging  into King Center events.

For more information, please contact Steve Klein at (404) 526-8944.