SOME OF THE PLACES WE WORK
The UCity Family Zone is a place-based partnership for improving the social determinants of health and quality of life in the University City communities. Through colloboration with a wide array of community partners, UNC Charlotte seeks to improve the daily living, learning, and working conditions of individuals and families throughout the community by addressing the social determinants of health. UCity Family Zone is a continuous geographical area surrounding UNC Charlotte, is comprised of multiple organizations, and is home to 45,000 residents in an area of 5.5 square miles. The College of Health and Human Services provides administrative leadership, research expertise, and program evaluation support through ARCHES and the Community Action Research Scholars (CARS) program.
HOW WE DO OUR WORK
Under the guidance of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and the Academy for Research on Community Health, Engagement, and Services (ARCHES), UNC Charlotte has created an innovative platform for facilitating partnerships with organizations throughout the UCity Family Zone. The CommUnivesity prototype was tested at the Camino Community Center (Camino) located in University City two stops away from UNC Charlotte on the Blue Line Light Rail. Camino is a trusted resource providing comprehensive health and social services to over 20,000 low-income mostly Latinx immigrants annually. Building on the Camino experience, the CommUniversity provides a platform for combining the expertise and training needs of UNC Charlotte faculty and students with the programming and measurement needs of community organizations.
The Community Action Research Scholars (CARS) program provides UNC Charlotte undergraduate and graduate students with instructional training, community-engaged research, and service-learning experiences. Students receive training in understanding the social determinants of health, community-based participatory research (CBPR), cultural diversity and humility, and community program evaluation. Partner organizations offer host sites for CARS students, who then provide service and conduct mentored program evaluations that contribute to building the capacity of the host organization.