Communities Acting for Kids Empowerment (CAKE): Finding the "Bright Spots"

Place is increasingly recognized as a critical contributor to health disparities, particularly for children. Place-based and community-based participatory research approaches that focus on neighborhood social and physical environments can address health disparities by engaging community stakeholders in a specified geography to improve community conditions. The discussant will describe Communities Acting for Kids Empowerment (CAKE), a collaborative effort of researchers, community organizers, and other local stakeholders to improve early childhood wellness in two Cincinnati neighborhoods, Carthage and Roselawn. CAKE is the product of the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Fellowship program, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and focused on uniting researchers and community organizers to improve community health. This experiential presentation will describe the major goals of CAKE, the creation of CAKE’s Community Leadership Team (CLT), which is made up various community advocates helping to guide the research process, and project challenges and lessons learned