ACER’s work focuses on populations who are experiencing disparate outcomes in health, and whose opportunities for good health are compromised by a deficiency in the social determinants of health – lack of access to resources, insufficient education, unaffordable housing, racism and low income.
In 2016 ACER is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health to conduct focus groups that will inform MDH’s research projects that are connected the African diaspora. Through the Bush Meat Project, we engage members of the western community to assess the consumption of bush meat, as well as the perception and risks associated with this practice. In the Malaria project, we are working with the community to get input on the practices of community members who visit friends and relatives back home in inoculating themselves against malaria, and any barriers they might face in trying to do this, and also how often people contact malaria when they visit back home.
Through our Making Transit Meaningful Work, ACER also belongs to the Health Equity Engagement Cohort (HEEC). HEEC was formed after a 2012 health impact assessment (HIA) recommended there be an entity that engages deeply with transit-dependent populations. The HIA concluded: 1) the light rail could benefit everyone along the projected corridor running from North Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park; and 2) there are currently stark health disparities between geographic and racial/ethnic lines that need to be changed. As part of this cohort, ACER, along with other organizations of color work to ensure that the communities along the Blue Line corridor extension achieve equitable health outcomes as a result of the light rail development.