Public Health

2014-2015 Policy and Social Engagement Fellowship

Faculty Partner: Elena Gutierrez, Gender & Women's Studies
Community Partner: Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH)

Due to separate conversations between experts ridden with jargon, academic literatures on reproductive justice can often promote confusion and division among advocates. The Reproductive Justice Virtual Library seeks to bring various sectors of the reproductive justice movement to a common language through equal access to research materials. Imagined as a virtual research hub for the reproductive justice movement, the RJVL is supported by a reproductive justice working group that will meet on the UIC campus to discuss relevant issues, build research skills and support the work of the library. Building upon their long history of advocacy and organizing Chicago's youth relative to issues of sexual and reproductive justice, we will work together to develop their adolescent and sexual health toolkit as well as create an Illinois reproductive justice toolkit with a youth focus that will also be digitized and contribute to the RJVL.


2014-2015 Policy and Social Engagement Fellowship

Faculty Partner: Dima Qato, Pharmacy
Community Partner: Arab American Action Network (AAAN)

Alongside a myriad of social and personal challenges, low-income women in the Arab-American community in Chicago, and their children, experience a wide-range of health and health care problems, for which medications are often indicated. Despite this, the Arab-American community currently lacks any health promotion program, including one that specifically focuses on the treatment seeking process among
this growing, yet often neglected, population of Arab-American and immigrant women. The goal of this proposed collaborative project is to develop
a community-based, culturally-tailored health communication and promotion program that will empower women to make informed treatment decisions for both themselves and their children. The primary objective is to promote safe and effective medication use among low-income, uninsured/underinsured Arab-American women and their children, in order to attain good health.


2013-2014 Policy and Social Engagement Fellowship

Faculty Partner:Angela Odoms-Young, Kinesiology and Nutrition
Community Partner: Inner-City Muslim Action Network

Dr. Odoms-Young will work with IMAN to improve an existing curriculum for corner store owners about providing healthy items, in the hope of alleviating some of the effects of food deserts and promoting healthy diets among low-income African-Americans, who have a higher rate of obesity related problems than other demographic groups. Marketing as well as dietary information will be provided in the new curriculum, which will also be distributed more widely and by more informed volunteers to ensure that store owners are able to understand the curriculum and follow through on its recommendations.

2011-2012 Policy & Social Engagement Fellowship Project

Faculty Partner: Angela Odoms Young, Kinesiology
Community Partner: Greater Englewood Health Start Initiative/Chicago Department of Public Health Engelewood Neighborhood Health Center


The focus of this project is to collaborate on a culturally appropriate, community-focused curriculum for lay nutrition educators. This curriculum will address strategies for improving dietary behaviors, addressing risk factors for poor nutrition in pregnant, postpartum, and women of childbearing age (ages 15 to 44) and their families, and building the nutrition capacity of residents in the Englewood and West Englewood communities. Specifically, we will

  1. work together to identify the specific nutrition needs of the target population;
  2. involve a group of community members in a photovoice project to generate photos and narratives focused on the multi-level (individual, interpersonal, institutional, community, and policy level) barriers to healthy eating and
  3. train a group of 10-15 clients to serve as lay nutrition educators.