Muñoz Awarded 2nd Year of Community-University Partnership Grant
Assistant Professor Lorena Muñoz in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and American Studies at the University of Minnesota was recently awarded a second year of funding from the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute's Community-University Partnership Grant Program to support the Urban Farming Institute.
As University PI, Dr. Muñoz, in collaboration with Community PI José Luis Villaseñor Rangel, Executive Director of Tamales y Bicicletas, and Britt Howell, Fitness and Nutrition Coach, Health, Wellness and Cultural Arts Community, first began the Urban Farming Institute in 2016. The Urban Farming Institute’s goals are to educate youth of color about strategies to increase healthy food production and consumption by creating a sustainable pipeline of youth and young adult leaders that disseminate information through CBPR processes to their families and to the community at large. The overall goal of Year 2 of the Urban Farming Institute (UFI) community research project, in the East Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis, is to continue educating Latinos, East African and American Indian youth and their families about sustainable urban farming towards creating greater access to healthy foods and healthy food practices. The Urban Farming Institute was set up in year 1 and now forms part of the community garden initiative of the East Phillips non-profit community organization Tamales y Bicicletas (Tamales and Bicycles). Year 2 of the Urban Farming Institute (UFI) will continue the project partnership between East Phillips community youth and their families, the Tamales y Bicicletas community organization, and the University of Minnesota faculty and undergraduate students.
Per the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, the "The Community-University Partnership Grant Program (fall funding cycle) funds innovative community and academic partnerships related to food, nutrition and health. Projects supported through this program employ participatory action research, or other creative strategies for addressing community-identified problems by bringing together University and community partners. Both academic and community knowledge systems are honored in these partnerships. Partnerships seek to benefit communities by producing information that will enable a community to improve its overall health."