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Well Community Project Grants $180,000 to Community Organizations in Mississippi, Michigan, and Louisiana to Promote Wellness

Alexandria, Va. (PRWEB) July 10, 2013

The Well Community Project today announced that three community partner organizations will receive grants to build capacity around community wellness and resilience, thus creating environments where children and their families thrive. The three selected grantee sites: City of Indianola, Miss.; the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies, New Orleans, La.; and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative, Detroit, Mich., will each receive $60,000 to engage in planning and communicating activities over a 17 month period (August 2013–December 2014). The goal of the grants is to reflect the role that wellness and resilience play in the community’s health and quality of life.

“By engaging community leaders we can redefine health and foster a culture of wellness and resilience in communities across the nation,” said Samueli Institute President and CEO Wayne B. Jonas, M.D., “Ultimately, we expect this work to inform national public health policy by building support for activities outside the traditional, clinically-oriented prevention approaches.”

City of Indianola, Miss. - Founded in 1882 in the heart of the Mississippi Delta region, the city of Indianola has a rich history of overcoming decades of racial and economic divide, evolving into a close knit community dedicated to bringing together residents of different races, economic statuses, faiths, and backgrounds to create a unified approach to improving health and wellness in their neighborhoods.

Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) - A national non-profit, community-based organization headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, founded in 1993 in response to overwhelming health disparities among women of color. IWES is dedicated to improving the physical, mental, and spiritual health and quality of life for women of color and their families, especially those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.

Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI) - A Michigan 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, founded in 1997, that works with communities in urban neighborhoods to build safe and thriving environments where people want to live, work, and play.

The Well Community Project is a joint effort of the three national organizations: Samueli Institute, CommonHealth ACTION, and Institute for Alternative Futures. The project is designed to help community partners leverage local assets to create environments that promote greater well-being and equity.
CommonHealth ACTION will provide public health expertise, programmatic support and technical assistance to the sites as they analyze and map current public policy environments and existing community systems that are meant to protect and improve the public’s health.

“We are honored to support the grantees on their journeys towards wellness,” said CommonHealth ACTION President and CEO, Natalie S. Burke. “Ultimately, their efforts to achieve a ‘Well Community’ will lay the groundwork for resilient neighborhoods and populations, which is critically important to public health and health equity.”

Samueli Institute and Institute for Alternative Futures will contribute scientific expertise to the technical assistance programming, which will take place through a combination of in-person working sessions and remote meetings. Samueli Institute will also link these projects to policy efforts in community wellness and resilience.

“We believe that leaders in communities across the country are already the key to creating better, more equitable outcomes for the next generation and this project will help show how this can be done,” said Institute for Alternative Futures President and Senior Futurist Jonathan Peck. “We can imagine leaders from diverse communities sharing success stories so that a far healthier future emerges with well-being bringing a new prosperity to the country.”

The Well Community Project is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


About CommonHealth Action
CommonHealth ACTION (CHA) is a national, non-profit, public health organization that works with communities and organizations to create equal opportunities for all people to achieve optimal health. For more information, visit

About Institute for Alternative Futures
The Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) is a leader in the creation of preferred futures. Since its founding in 1977 by Clement Bezold, Alvin Toffler and James Dator, IAF has helped organizations monitor trends, explore future possibilities and create the futures they prefer. IAF draws on a robust selection of futures methodologies, such as environmental scans, forecasts, scenarios, visioning and its own "aspirational futures" technique. Past clientsinclude the World Health Organization, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, AARP, and the American Cancer Society. IAF is a 501(c)3 non-profit research and education organization.

About Samueli Institute
Samueli Institute is a non-profit research organization supporting the scientific investigation of healing processes and their role in medicine and health care. Founded in 2001, the Institute is advancing the science of healing worldwide. Samueli Institute’s research domains include integrative medicine, optimal healing environments, the role of the mind in healing, behavioral medicine, health care policy, and military and veterans’ health care. Our mission is to create a flourishing society through the scientific exploration of wellness and whole-person healing. More information is available at

About W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.

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