Make a Difference! Leadership Academy
An effort to train grassroots leaders was born out of the Make a Noise! Make a Difference! community education and awareness campaign to improve Black infant mortality in Jacksonville. The goal of the Make a Difference! Leadership Academy is to support the efforts of local residents to make changes in neighborhood factors that contribute to disparities in health and birth outcomes.
The Leadership Academy is a key component of the life-course framework. Its goal is to change the trajectory of a community through the individuals trained and assisted in the development of a Community Action Plan. This plan outlines a specific project to move a community to action.
The Academy is 12-week course (two hours per week) that includes classroom education, guest speakers and field trips. We’re currently recruiting for our 2024 workshops; if you’re interested, please submit your application. For more information, contact Cathy Dupont at 904.801.3352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the NEFHSC offers the Make a Noise! Make a Difference! Prevent Infant Mortality curriculum, which develops individual and community empowerment by increasing community awareness, delivering preconception and inter-conceptional information, promoting healthy behaviors and encouraging lifestyle changes for fathers, mothers, mothers-to-be and community residents.
The curriculum is for community residents (lay health advocates/community ambassadors) who want to know the facts about infant mortality and want to share the information with family, friends, co-workers and other community residents. The infant mortality lay health advocates are volunteers who are trained on infant mortality and want to help spread the word…our Black babies are dying!
The ambassador curriculum covers: health before, during and after pregnancy, as well as baby health and safety. Subjects include not only healthy habits, but also topics like the effects of stress, the role of fathers, the importance of vaccines and the threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). After completing the curriculum, the new “lay health advocates” receive incentives and are provided materials to attract and educate people about Black infant mortality. Each month, advocates report the number of people they have spoken to about the issue to NEFHSC staff.