Healthy Choices

Health Education Council receives financial boost

The Health Education Council, a Sacramento-based nonprofit focused on creating healthy communities, announced Wednesday that it received $1.1 million to spend on the Sacramento Minority Youth Violence Prevention Initiative over the next three years.

The grant, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health in partnership with the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, will focus on boosting academic performance, reducing encounters with law enforcement and increasing access to public health services for young black, Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander men.

The funds will be dedicated partially toward integrating Sacramento’s Male Leadership Academy, a school-based program for at-risk minorities, with a variety of services throughout the community, including “Saturday Night Lights,” a summer program which creates safe activities for young people.

“Health Education Council has seen firsthand the link between our work to address healthy eating and active living and violence prevention efforts in south Sacramento,” said Executive Director Debra Oto-Kent.

Sacramento is one of nine communities across the country being looked at by the offices of minority health and community oriented policing services as places to address minority youth violence.

To fulfill the goals of the grant, the council will partner with the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Health and Human Services Department, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento, Sierra Health Foundation, the Boys and Men of Color Collaborative, WellSpace Health, Mack Road Partnership, Sacramento Unified School District and Elk Grove Unified School District.