Affiliated Projects and Programs

These are long term fully staffed projects and programs at UROC that have been initiated and are led by Extension or other University departments. Some of these projects receive staff support from the UROC team.

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Addressing Stroke Prevention in African Americans: Fostering Community Engagement

The aim of our project is to educate African American communities on life style risk factors to prevent stroke incidence. In order to better understand the culture, develop community-academic relationships and establish best evidence practice for making sustainable changes in lifestyle factors in this community, our study goal is twofold. First, to build partnership, identify key stakeholders, identify stroke priorities in the community and develop best practices for interventions to prevent stroke among African Americans. Second, to pilot feasibility, and efficacy of a novel train-the trainer program in which key community leaders are trained in Life’s Simple 7 health promotion and become stroke champions.

African American Leadership Forum

Researching disparities in education, economic development, health and wellness, and family, culture, and spirituality between the African American community and other sectors of the Twin Cities is the focus of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF). The forum will use research to reduce these overwhelming disparities.

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After-School Maker Space for Minority and Underrepresented K-12 Students in Minnesota

We are engaging K-12 students in learning exercises in design and math to foster future career success.

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An Exploration of the Relationship among Police Violence, Race, and Reproductive Health Outcomes

The goal of this project was to better understand the potential impacts of police violence on Black birthing people. We explored this through a survey that asked respondents about their attitudes toward police as well as about different forms of stress in their lives. We also asked a small subset of folks to have one-on-one interviews with us to better understand how police brutality impacted how they parented their children.

Archie Givens, Jr. NOMMO African American Speaker Series

We are working to rebuild the Twin Cities' only dedicated African American speaker series, in honor of Archie Givens, Jr.

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Community Health Initiative (CHI)

CHI programming is driven by the school year with the mission of addressing health disparities in underrepresented communities. Depending on the time of year we would steer the community member towards the current options available be it a student consulting project or summer internship if the member is affiliated with a community-based nonprofit or small business. We would also provide the member with the program brochure and direct them to the department website that has more detailed information.

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Design for Youth: Equity and Opportunity/Preventing Juvenile Incarceration (Fall 2019- Spring 2021) Equity by Design: Northside Riverfront and 26th Corridor (Fall 2022- Spring 2024)

We have investigated ways to prevent juveniles from getting involved with the justice system through architectural design, advocating for

  1. Support for families in the form of child care, and social services in community centers,
  2. Ater school activities for young people
  3. Job training for transition aged youth, and advocating for
  4. Treatment in the home community over incarceration for adjudicated youth

Working with community members of all ages, with social service and correctional professionals, and design professionals, students have developed proposals for buildings in the Nothside Community that could serve these needs in diverse ways.

eHEAT Dataset-based Support Tool for Energy Assistance Implementation in Minnesota

Energy is a necessity for household and community wellbeing but the necessity of energy can also create significant economic insecurity for families. Federal, state, and local policies are designed to address energy insecurity as part of broader poverty abatement and household crisis aversion. We are collaborating with state and local implementing organizations of energy assistance programs to identify strategies rooted in empirical data analysis and qualitative investigation that can support the implementation of these programs.

Through this project, we also hope to identify strategies to elevate the perspectives and voices of the community-based organizations that understand household energy insecurity in the mainstream of energy policy-making that too often neglects these perspectives as the system transitions to clean energy.

Exception From Informed Consent (EFIC) Study, Dept. of Emergency Medicine

This is an effort to have a robust DIALOGUE between the researcher and community members about:

  1. Proposed emergency department research studies
  2. The ethics of exception from informed consent research

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Expanding Youth Opportunities

Our project seeks to address the needs of, and develop opportunities for older youth who have left the structured high school environment and have graduated from foster care, to transition into adulthood. A prime goal is to provide a path to productive adulthood and community involvement, thus preventing engagement with the justice system.


Growing North Minneapolis

Growing North Minneapolis is a community-driven collaboration with the University of Minnesota, which focuses on youth and their communities. Through intergenerational mentorship and urban agriculture, we advance environmental, social and racial justice in North Minneapolis. We invite the North Minneapolis community to come and grow with us as a community mentor, either during the school-year program or during the summer garden program. It is a tremendously rewarding and impactful experience.

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Helping Dementia Caregivers Thrive After Loss

Caregivers for persons with dementia sometimes feel 'invisible' because their life is devoted to helping that person with dementia. After the person they care for dies, they sometimes feel 'ultra-invisible' because even the attention that being the caregiver brought, dissipates. We want to give those former caregivers visibility, help them develop their post-caregiving identity, and help them build a sense of community.

ICARE: Improving Communication About Racism for Equity

The goal of ICARE is to create a communication intervention for primary care providers to safely, competently, and authentically discuss racism with their patients.

Junior Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (jEM)

The Junior Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (jEM) Program was created to inspire youth from the Twin Cities to pursue entrepreneurship and develop a relationship with the University of Minnesota. The goal is to expose them to leadership development initiatives and exciting learning opportunities. We work with diverse high school students for 4-5 weeks during the summer and encourage students from the north side to apply.

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Management & Technical Assistance Program (MTAP)

MTAP programming is driven by the school year with the mission of helping community-based organizations build capacity. Depending on the time of year we would steer the community member towards the current option available (student consulting project) if the member is affiliated with a community-based nonprofit or small business. We would also provide the member with the program brochure and direct them to the department website that has more detailed information.

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Minimum Wages Study

We are entering into Year 4 of follow up for this longitudinal study to evaluate the impact of minimum wage increase on BMI, food security, and other health-related outcomes. We are no longer enrolling new participants, but continue to engage with the active cohort we recruited in 2018.

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Mother, May I Swim?

The purpose of this research is to construct a theoretical framework that supports the development of swim-efficacy for African-American women. The results from this study will aid in implementing culturally relevant swim curriculum and pedagogy for communities across the African Diaspora.

Northside Houses of Worship Preservation Project

This project contributes to capturing and disseminating the Jewish and African American history of the Northside by preserving three monumental religious buildings used by these groups. Our goal is to get the buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Operationalizing and Measuring Structural Racism in Minnesota: Building a Multidimensional Measure of Structural Racism (MMSR)

Empirical evidence of the relationship between structural racism and population health inequity requires a quantifiable measurement of the phenomenon for the purposes of causal modeling. However, valid, replicable and theoretically sound measures of structural racism do not currently exist. That is why the Multidimensional Measure of Structural Racism (MMSR) is a preliminary measure of structural racism created by Dr. Hardeman to capture the amount of exposure to structural racism offering detailed analyses of the context in which racism is playing out in various communities.

Power of Story - Annual Signifiyin' & vTestifyin' Storytelling Festival - School Concerts

African/African American culture is being sustained through the oral tradition of storytelling while nurturing an intergenerational healing space.

Preventing Violent Encounters between Police and Young Black Men: Mobilizing Communities for Action

We are interviewing young Black men for a study regarding public safety and relationships between police and young Black men, with the goal of preventing future violent encounters between police and young Black men.

Project TRUST

Project TRUST has shown that students and parents can do research on important topics in their schools. Those results can inform how school decisions are made.

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Community Based Intervention Effects on Older Adults' Physical Activity and Falls (Ready-Steady)

Ready-Steady is a research study designed to assess different strategies that might help people who are 70 years or older to include more physical activity in their everyday lives. Participants in our study meet once a week for eight weeks in groups of 4-6 people, and participate in balance, strength, and walking exercises combined with different wellness information and/or motivation strategies. Participants also meet with a researcher four times throughout a year for an interview and assessment of their balance, strength, and physical activity. Participants are compensated, and are also given a Fitbit to track their physical activity throughout the study- which is theirs to keep even after their completion of the study. Results of our study will help to determine which strategies to include in future physical activity courses.

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SCC: Leveraging Autonomous Shared Vehicle for Greater Community Health, Equity, Livability, and Prosperity (HELP)

Developing the 'Smart Cloud Commuting System”—a system of giant pools of shared autonomous vehicles—to re-think and re-design future transportation services and enable smart and connected communities where everyone benefits for greater community health, equity, livability, and prosperity.

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Seeds to Harvest Service Projects

The Seeds to Harvest Coalition is a community based service organization made up of over 30 community agencies and organizations. Seeds to Harvest is dedicated to responding to the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic and the civil unrest.

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Smart Community Health

Smart Community Health is a full-service end-to-end community service recommendation system developed by the University of Minnesota. Smart Community Health is a modern 211 that is focused and driven by communities to empower citizens and communities.

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Targeted Business Program

Provide resources and opportunities for members of all protected classes to create business opportunities and collaborations with U of M decision makers.

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Technology Empowerment Center

The Technology Empowerment Center creates innovative partnerships that bring technology to underserved populations by focusing on closing the digital divide and providing access to computer technology and software training. We aim to reduce the growing inequality of access to information technologies among low-income and disadvantaged groups.

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Voices of the Future: Linking Historical Trauma, Ambiguous Loss, and Financial Decision-Making Among African American Families

The impact of poverty is intricately tied to traumatic experiences of institutionalized racism. Our project addresses economic disparities with a focus on African American families in the Northside community, and provides training to help improve their financial wellbeing. The goal of this project is to improve Individual, Family, and Community Financial Wellbeing by addressing historical trauma experienced by African Americans and explore how that trauma hinders financial decision making via three specific aims: (1) Minimize shame and stigma associated with personal debt; (2) Provide program participants with resources necessary to achieve financial capability; (3) Develop capacity (sustainability) within the community to continue this program beyond the life of the grant.

Walker Art Center x Jordan Weber x Youth Farm Residency

The artwork is realized in collaboration with Marcus Kar, the director of North Minneapolis programs for Youth Farm. Lease of the site is held by Youth Farm, and following the Opening Day Celebration, scheduled for July 2021, the farm will be turned over to Kar and Youth Farm for incorporation into their community capacity building programs. Youth Farm is a nonprofit organization that utilizes food and farming as a catalyst for social change, community engagement, and leadership development. During the growing season, they educate and train young people across Minneapolis in gardens and greenhouses. They also teach leadership skills year-round with programming focused on planting, cultivating, and distributing the food they grow.

You can see Jordan Weber, Walker staff, Youth Farm, and landscape architects Aune Fernandez working on the site this spring, on May 30 and 31, 2020. The team will be completing initial groundwork started last year. and planting fruit trees.

Please check back for dates for perennial planting in fall 2020.More information on events and how to participate can be found on the project Facebook page:

An opening celebration will be scheduled for summer is schedule for 2021. Please email us at [email protected] if you would like to be notified of this event.

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