Researchers and Community Groups Train Hispanic Adults in Leadership and Advocacy
The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), in collaboration with the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), trained 27 committed individuals from across South Florida on community advocacy tools during a two-day Empowerment and Civic Engagement Training (ECET) seminar held at the Miller School of Medicine on March 10-11. The diverse group included participants from non-profit organizations, HCHS/SOL friends, community health workers, and others.
“One of our main goals is outreach to the Hispanic/Latino community,” said UM’s Neil Schneiderman, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Miami Field Center of the NIH-funded HCHS/SOL, the largest and most comprehensive epidemiologic study ever conducted in the Hispanic population in the U.S. “Because of their multi-year involvement with the HCHS/SOL, many of the 16,000 HCHS/SOL participants, including 4,000 in Miami, see themselves as health advocacy delegates to the community,” said Schneiderman, who is the James L. Knight Professor of Psychology, professor of medicine, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and biomedical engineering. “The HCHS/SOL has been pleased to partner with the NHCOA in efforts to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults.”
Based in Washington, D.C., NHCOA is an HCHS/SOL community partner and a leading national organization that works to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers. NHCOA offers this training seminar to educate and empower Hispanic individuals leveraging their influence and knowledge of advocacy to be part of the solution to their communities’ most pressing problems.
“NHCOA is proud to partner with the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos HCHS/SOL at the University of Miami as we seek to bring relevant and powerful community advocacy tools to grassroots Latino leaders across the country,” said Yanira Cruz, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., NHCOA president and CEO. “Our program is built around the idea that everyone has unique talents they can leverage to improve their own lives and those around them.
One of the main messages we want all participants to take away from this experience is that every person is a valuable member of society with the ability to take on a leadership role at any given time, whether it is within the family circle, workplace, place of worship, or the greater community. We want to debunk the myth that leaders are celebrities or elected officials, and instill the belief that every human being can play a leadership role.”