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Am I My Brother's Keeper? Yes!

Posted by Jim Tagye on Apr 13, 2016 10:48:00 AM

Join us on Thursday, April 14 at 6 PM for a concrete example of how this biblical imperative works in our world. 

Two principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Solidarity and Subsidiarity are crucial in understanding God’s affirmative answer to humanity’s primordial question: am I my brother’s keeper? God’s “yes” to this question flows out of our common origins and destiny (solidarity), but is made concrete by affecting change at the most local and personal level possible (subsidiarity).

In this radio interview, Bo Bonner, Director of Campus Ministry at Mercy College of Health Sciences, speaks to these twin principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and how consideration of these truths will be illuminated by the upcoming Faith and Healing lecture by Dr. Lena Hatchett

Individual efforts to reduce obesity in low-income African American communities have shown limited success because of the lack of access to affordable healthy foods. An alternative public health approach is needed to create healthy food and activity environments. The Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H) is a collective impact initiative to promote healthy food environments in schools and community organizations.

To date, this coalition has created 25 jobs, trained 32 students in sustainable agriculture, and grown 400 pounds of fresh produce at a community garden in Maywood, IL. The food is then prepared at the Quinn Community Center soup kitchen. Partners have also leveraged resources to provide access to healthy food and programs to 150 children and teens. As recent as February 2016, PP4H were one of six community partners to receive funding from an $80 million grant package awarded by Trinity Health’s Transforming Communities Initiative.

"It's an incredible story of transformation - in one afternoon, local high school students will harvest the produce, walk it over to the community center, cook it and serve it at the soup kitchen. Farm-to-table healthy eating right here in our community."cityfarm.jpg

At Mercy College, Dr. Hatchett will discuss:

  • Our approach to health equity of shared power and leadership, building capacity, and leveraging resources.
  • The environmental and systems strategies which include entrepreneurial gardens.
  • Successes and challenges in leveraging resources and implementing policy to increase access to affordable healthy food environments and create career opportunities for local youth.

Lena Hatchett earned her Ph.D. in Social/Health Psychology from State University of New York Stony Brook and her post-doctoral training in Community and Prevention Research from University Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Her research interests are focused on community-engaged approaches to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

On-going research includes Cook County Green Corps, which is a green job training program focused on urban agriculture. Related projects include the Urban Garden Connection which is a network of partners across suburban Cook County working to improve local policies that impact urban agriculture and local food systems. In partnership with local community organizations Dr. Hatchett runs the Maywood Multicultural Farmers Market.

Thursday April 14, 2016 @ 6-7:30 p.m.

Free Registration

Refreshments will be served. FREE and open to the Public.

Sullivan Center – Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa Lecture Hall


Topics: Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics, Food Systems and Public Health Disparities, Dr. Lena Hatchett, Urban Farm-To-Table