Superfund Research Program
Community Engagement Core
Project Summary (2015-2017)
The interface between mining and public health is one with urgent need of innovative solutions at the community level. The UA SRP's Community Engagement Core (CEC) has developed extensive experience working with communities in Arizona and will continue their successful work with Hispanic communities and expanding their efforts to include tribal communities that are impacted by mining. The CEC is working to deliver science-based information to affected community stakeholders so they can become active players in understanding and making informed decisions on health issues related to mining. This is a multi-directional process wherein the CEC provides a platform for community stakeholders to influence the science that the UA SRP is conducting so it is relevant to issues they are concerned about. Evaluation of community-engaged activities is a key component to allow quantitative and qualitative measurement of success and lessons-learned to optimize the usefulness of their work.
The CEC will fill an existing gap regarding Hispanic and Native American stakeholders and their lack of engagement in hardrock mining issues (particularly environmental justice issues) that impact their communities. CEC partners in this effort include local communities, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the mining industry.
The UA SRP CEC objectives are:
- To engage Native American tribes in multidirectional collaborations on environmental and health hazards related to hardrock mining, which will include developing innovative community mitigation strategies to decrease identified health risks;
- To improve environmental health education opportunities by implementing state-wide trainings as well as evaluation metrics for existing successful promotora (Hispanic community health workers) modules. The module concept will be expanded to include mining modules designed for Tribal Community Colleges and Tribal Community Health Representatives, encompassing the mining process and related social and environmental impacts;
- To continue the development of a variety of community engagement tools that will be useful for impacted individuals and groups living adjacent to Superfund and other contaminated sites in Arizona; and
- To support the administration of two centers initiated by the UA SRP: the Dean Carter Binational Center for Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining, both of which encompass have components of community engagement and outreach related to environmentally and socially responsible mining
The UA SRP CEC applies Center-wide research outcomes to empower underrepresented populations to address health and environmental challenges related to metal mining.