Urban Health Accelerator- HBCU

Healthy Communities Challenge

Howard University
fresh fruit at an outdoor market
Salnias Grocery Store
fresh fruit at an outdoor market

Johnson C. Smith University

In April of 2019 the university was awarded a $100,000 two-year American Heart Association EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator – HBCU Healthy Community Challenge. They will target healthy food access as a barrier to health on their campus and in the community.

Salnias Grocery Store

Winston-Salem State University

For its winning submission focused on food insecurity, this university was awarded a two-year, $100,000 American Heart Association EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator – HBCU Healthy Community Challenge. Their project is taking aim at food insecurity to address disparities in chronic disease rates which are highest among racial/ethnic minority and low-income population.

Urban Health Accelerators 

Developed to address critical needs and social issues – in and around campuses – that impact the ability of individuals to attain optimal health.

How the pilot program works to impact surrounding communities.

Community environments play an important role in health outcomes. People living just 5 miles apart can in some cases have a difference in life expectancy of more than 20 years due to factors such as economic stability, education, societal influences, and health care.  Through the American Heart Association’s 2019 EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator-HBCU pilot, schools had an opportunity to secure a $100,000 grant to implement a community-based idea that changes behaviors, expands access and improve long-term health by overcoming challenges in urban communities.

Urban housing in New York City
 Winston-Salem State University HBCU Challenge Recipients

Marian Anderson-Booker, research project coordinator for Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Studies at Winston-Salem State University. 

We had a vision and now we can put that vision into motion. This means a lot for our campus, our community and our community partners. We are committed to our university and community engagement. This grant helps to set the foundation for the impact that our HBCU can make in undeserved communities.