Market Makeovers: NextGen Leaders

submission by mblock

Organization Name

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Public Matters

Website

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www.publicmattersgroup.com

Indicator

Please select the one indicator that is most relevant to your project or organization: Health

What is your idea and how will it impact your indicator?

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Public Matters is not after the quick fix. We’re in it for the long run. We believe a great idea will become an effective solution only if the community it seeks to help takes ownership of it. Market Makeovers: NextGen Leaders proposes to evolve young leaders from within their communities to drive long-term sustainable change in the places they live. Specifically, we are asking LA 2050 to fund a group of emerging adult community leaders (age 18-24) to transform the food landscape, food behaviors and health outcomes in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, building on an existing infrastructure within which they’ve worked for the past three years. These NextGen Leaders are deeply committed to the work of improving the health outcomes of their community, having already invested some serious sweat equity, received extensive training in health, leadership, public speaking and media production, and transformed local stores. For them, it’s personal; the work they do impacts the health of their families, friends and loved ones. LA 2050 funds would take their leadership development to the next level so that they have increased opportunities and greater capacity to bring about meaningful, sustainable community transformation.

Public Matters has been greening food deserts through Market Makeovers since 2007 – one corner store at a time. We started in South L.A. with the Healthy Eating Active Communities Initiative and for the past three years, have been doing Market Makeovers in East L.A. and Boyle Heights through Proyecto MercadoFRESCO, a project of UCLA-USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. In recent years, there have been numerous “corner store conversions” (as they’re known in public health circles) to address the “grocery gap” in “food deserts,” areas that have limited access to quality, healthy food; an overabundance of fast food; and high rates of chronic conditions related to poor diet. Typical corner store conversions involve some physical transformation of existing stores, the addition of healthier inventory (usually fresh fruits and vegetables), and some marketing of the new items. Shortly thereafter, the stores are left to their own devices. As an intervention strategy, Market Makeovers are another order of magnitude, aiming for community transformation. They encompass education; community engagement and relationship building; business training for storeowners/operators; store transformation; and social marketing to change health behaviors and increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. Local youth and residents play a central role in the hands-on work of transforming markets, educating the community about the benefits of fruits and vegetables, and promoting the Market Makeover stores. They implement the solution, and in so doing take ownership of it. Market Makeovers are not just about supply; they’re also about creating demand. You have to make sure you have community buy-in, that if you stock those fruits and vegetables, locals will buy (and eat) them, so that healthy food retail becomes viable.

That’s where the NextGen Leaders come in; LA 2050 funds would enable them to pick up where conventional corner store conversions leave off, after the fanfare of the grand re-opening dies down: to promote transformed MercadoFRESCO stores in East L.A. and Boyle Heights so that healthy food retail takes root, becomes the norm, and results in improved health outcomes. LA 2050 funds will provide NextGen Leaders with additional training and opportunities for leadership development so that they can work directly with Public Matters, Nathan Cheng Consulting, municipal and community partners to shape the project. NextGen Leaders will receive training in store operations, marketing, graphic design and visual literacy so they can assist the stores with retail presentation and merchandising, create in-store graphics and displays and social marketing campaigns to promote healthy food behaviors. They will plan, promote and conduct community events: public presentations in schools and local organizations, cooking demos at the markets, and video screenings. They will access local leaders and participate in community meetings and decision-making processes. They will become the public faces of the project and lead East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights to a healthier 2050.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

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Public Matters is a social enterprise that builds creative and social capital in communities. As a for-profit business, Public Matters designs and implements neighborhood-based new media, education and civic engagement projects for social change. It cultivates cross-sector partnerships between grass-roots organizations, academic institutions, neighborhood residents, youth and local municipalities. It builds relationships and develops future leaders. We have a track record of innovative, impactful projects. Our project timelines favor deep, long-term engagement, with work measured in years not months. Our most important achievements are those we accomplish through our programs:

Market Makeovers, Proyecto MercadoFRESCO, UCLA-USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) – Funded by a five-year grant through the National Institutes of Health, we worked with Torres High School, Roosevelt High School, The Office of L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina (D-1), Volunteers of East L.A., other local organizations, and Nathan Cheng to transform two stores in East L.A.; two more are forthcoming in Boyle Heights.

Market Makeovers, Healthy Eating Active Communities Initiative – Funded by the California Endowment, we worked with The Accelerated School, The Office of L.A. Councilwoman Jan Perry (CD-9), and Nathan Cheng to transform two stores in South Los Angeles and created a media-rich online resource, www.marketmakeovers.org.

PDUB Productions – We worked with Pilipino Workers Center, HyperCities, UCLA REMAP, The Office of L.A. Councilman Eric Garcetti (CD-13), and local stakeholders to create an innovative youth media + civic engagement program through which local youth created digital content about Historic Filipinotown for distribution on multiple platforms: interactive Mobile Hi Fi Tours via mobile devices and a Pilipino Jeepney; and HyperCities, an online, map-based time-travel application.

Working with mostly low-income students of color, we have a strong track record of creating emerging adult leaders. Defying the odds of low college admission rates for East L.A. students, our entire class at ELARA was accepted into a four-year college. Past students have gone on to colleges and universities including Brown, NYU, Sarah Lawrence, UCLA, and UC-Berkeley. We have helped place youth leaders in local nonprofit jobs. We currently have four Proyecto MercadoFRESCO young adult leaders who are implementing Market Makeovers, training high school students, conducting cooking demos and social marketing campaigns.

Our work has received national and local recognition. Twice, we’ve been awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Award, as part of HyperCities and Out The Window. Our projects have been covered by NBC, CNN, BBC Latino, Associated Press, L.A. Times, KCET, Next American City, and MIT CoLab, among others and will be featured in a forthcoming Harvard University Press book about Digital Mapping.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

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• NATHAN CHENG CONSULTING: Our partner on all market makeover projects since 2007, Nathan is the guru of the “corner store conversion” movement and a nationally recognized figure in food systems. He will mentor the NextGen Leaders in all store-related activities.
• UCLA-USC CENTER FOR POPULATION HEALTH AND HEALTH DISPARITIES (CPHHD). Experts in community-focused public health, social marketing, and evaluation, CPPHD will assist in these areas.
• THE EAST LA RENAISSANCE ACADEMY AT ESTEBAN TORRES HIGH SCHOOL and ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL: NextGen Leaders are project alumni from these schools. They will continue to engage students through work at the markets, workshops on healthy eating and nutrition and peer leadership.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

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Health indicators and behaviors will be evaluated by Public Matters, and independently by UCLA-USC CPHHD and Nathan Cheng Consulting. NextGen Leaders make daily visits to and reports about the Market Makeovers stores to Nathan Cheng. Among the items that they observe and report are: the condition of produce, temperature of produce cases, store appearance inside and outside, and promotions of monthly produce specials and other in-store campaigns promoting healthy behaviors. Beyond reporting, these visits are vital to cultivating a healthy relationship with all stores and establish NextGen Leaders are invested helpers to the stores. Nathan is also responsible for the overall relationships with the stores and for business training, including tracking inventory and sales of healthy and non-healthy items. We also use targeted promotional activities like frequent buyer cards for produce, coupons and store flyers that are easily tracked. CPHHD tracks the quantity, quality and level of nutrition education of the cooking demos.

CPHHD independently evaluates the overall success of the market makeovers strategy as part of its research about improving cardiovascular health in East LA and Boyle Heights. They conduct extensive longitudinal surveys and field research with residents, store patrons and participants in project activities.

Public Matters is responsible for evaluating the impact and development of social marketing activities and of the NextGen Leaders. Social marketing is measured in different ways that include the reach, placement and impact of campaigns. Activities vary from one-time events like a presentation to a school or community group to the placement of NextGen-led social marketing campaigns in bus shelter posters. Surveys conducted by NextGen leaders gauge the impact of these activities. Other indicators include the number of local partners and municipal agencies that take part in a given campaign, the number of agencies and businesses that will post collateral materials and tie-in store promotions to social marketing campaigns. These indicators of community investment are linked to the success of the project stores.

Leadership development and education of the NextGen Leaders is monitored in several ways. Prior to hiring the NextGen Leaders, Public Matters takes track of their skills in communication, computing, design, and leadership. Skill development in these areas is not only part of their continued training, but is evaluated at the mid and end point of their involvement in the program. We believe leadership development is about both skills development and about access. So, we also monitor how NextGen Leaders spend their time, how their social networks grow, what community members, leaders and organizations they meet and work with, how their self-confidence and self-esteem grow, and their ability to effectively implement programmatic activities. We hold weekly and monthly check-ins with all NextGen Leaders.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles? Please be specific.

East L.A. and Boyle Heights, like many under-resourced neighborhoods, have had their fair share of solutions presented to them by experts, usually from outside their communities. Some of them get implemented. Of those, few are implemented long enough and with adequate resources to take root, to become part of the fabric of the community it serves such that members of that community claim it as their own. The issues around the East LA + Boyle Heights food landscape and poor health outcomes among its predominantly Latino residents are serious and unhealthy food behaviors deeply entrenched. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, its population suffers high rates of obesity-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke. It has some of the highest rates of childhood obesity (32.2%) in the county. The situation will not change overnight. Because NextGen Leaders are from the community, their fellow community members are more likely to listen to what they have to say. Their actions on behalf of their neighborhoods carry greater weight. They can lead from within, in a way outsiders can’t. Support for Market Makeovers: NextGen Leaders is a long-term investment in the future health of East L.A. and Boyle Heights, a model of home-grown leadership development that could be applied all over Los Angeles.

Market Makeovers increase access to healthy foods and broaden awareness and education about healthy eating and behaviors; its engaged community participation results in greater buy-in and a better chance at sustainability. Extending these efforts through the NextGen Leaders will result in a cadre of trained, engaged and experienced young leaders who are deeply rooted in community change and who have worked extensively on projects prior to their 24th birthday. NextGen Leaders have skills in: media production; public speaking and presentations; visual communication; teaching and peer leadership; healthy eating and nutrition; media literacy; and social marketing that are invaluable in many fields. And they are placed in an infrastructure that nurtures their development and allows them to directly effect change, whether in their immediate community or throughout L.A.

The NextGen Leaders’ age group falls in-between many philanthropic efforts and services, whether or not they are enrolled in higher education. Their needs are acute. Having worked with teens for over twenty years, we often see youth hit an economic and opportunity ceiling once they graduate high school or reach age 18. Even in college, they are isolated from their communities rather than placed into learning and service opportunities in their neighborhoods, where they can deepen their roots and connections. Scholarship programs often don’t come close to covering the true cost of higher education. Vocational programs tend to train professions, not creative leaders. Through Market Makeovers, we can change this and the food landscape together.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

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By 2050, the NextGen Leaders will have started a healthy chain reaction that ripples far beyond the health indicator. Within the health indicator though, the term “food desert” will be thing of the past. The words, deeds and creative social marketing and community engagement tactics of the NextGen Leaders will have inspired many a healthy eater. Quality fruits and vegetables will be commonplace in corner stores and in larger markets. Competition amongst stores, widespread social marketing campaigns about healthy behaviors, and pressure from both residents and local government, in addition to additional Market Makeover projects, will contribute to this change. Communities will be judged by plethora of healthy items and healthy community activities that exist in an area, rather than by the paucity of them. As a result, there will be significantly lower rates of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Communities served by the NextGen Leaders will have spread throughout Los Angeles, leading to a broader awareness of proper dietary habits and, just as importantly, access to healthy products.

The original crew of NextGen Leaders will have moved into many disciplines and positions, from academia where there currently is a dearth of Latinos in fields like public health, nutrition and media, to local government, to leading their own community-based projects and organizations. Others will be running Public Matters. Many will still maintain strong ties to their communities and will be regarded by the 2050 crew of NextGen Leaders as the “O.G.” community leaders. Strong role models and a highly visible and creative force in their communities, the influence of the NextGen Leaders will have sparked many others to follow in their path. Local government and agencies will have a demonstrated track record of the benefits of civic engagement projects led by emerging adults, leading them to develop their own means to engage young adults in substantive community work. High schools will feed youth leaders into these programs and work closely with these agencies.

The NextGen Leaders will be at the forefront of a movement of emerging adult creative, engaged citizens and problem solvers that spring from diverse communities and backgrounds. All will share a deep commitment to their communities. Their impact will be felt in policy, education, health, social connectedness, income and employment, arts and cultural vitality and the overall social fabric of Los Angeles.

Discussion
39 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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The organizers behind Public Matters are remarkable at blending change approaches and connecting communities with a common and positive vision for themselves. I'm a HUGE fan! Jeffrey Betcher (www.quesadagardens.org)

by JeffreyBetcher
over 1 year ago | Reply

Absolutely essential movement toward bettering the community's health and therefore, life.

mjs39

by maryj.shannon.5
over 1 year ago | Reply

Public Matters changed the dynamics of my learning curve and my development as leader for the better! I learned about the importance of collaboration, social responsibility and healthy eating all from this amazing organization! If there is one organization making a lifetime's worth of difference in the community this is it! --Cameron McCaa (www.cameronmccaa.com)

by mccaa.cameron
over 1 year ago | Reply

These people are really making a difference. Thank you!

by lllll567
over 1 year ago | Reply

"Remember when the fruits and vegetables did a mariachi procession through East LA?" "Remember the geolocating jeepney tours through Filipinotown?"

These folks produce exciting FRESH projects that make community turnaround feel like the edgiest, most creative thing in town. Their work has depth and tons and tons of joy and soul. A Public Matters project is the one people talk about years later. There's a reason artists, educators, health activists, community folks, chefs, and students gravitate to Public Matters. Please invest in Public Matters for invigorating community strategies - we need their inspired touch if we want to see things change!

by reereeree
over 1 year ago | Reply

"Remember when the fruits and vegetables did a mariachi procession through East LA?" "Remember the geolocating jeepney tours through Filipinotown?"

These folks produce exciting FRESH projects that make community turnaround feel like the edgiest, most creative thing in town. Their work has depth and tons and tons of joy and soul. A Public Matters project is the one people talk about years later. There's a reason artists, educators, health activists, community folks, chefs, and students gravitate to Public Matters. Please invest in Public Matters for invigorating community strategies - we need their inspired touch if we want to see things change!

by reereeree
over 1 year ago | Reply

I worked with Public Matters and Healthy Eating Active Communities on Market Conversion in 2007 and they knew what they were doing then. After all of these years continuing the journey, I am sure they are more experienced then ever. Definitely have my support!

by laes8
over 1 year ago | Reply

Worked with them as a student.

by laes8
over 1 year ago | Reply

and my efforts positively impacted the lives of many people in our community and knowing that the lifestyles of many changed for the better with our help and with Public Matters is the greatest feeling in the world. We were truly privileged to have been a part of such a life changing organization!

by karina.pulido.56
over 1 year ago | Reply

Being a part of this project for 2 years really helped me develop many leadership skills within my community. I was able to grow as a person, while learning the difficulties my community faced. Being engaged and being able to be a health advocate not only for friends, but for family as well opened many horizons for me. I know that my classmates

by karina.pulido.56
over 1 year ago | Reply

This remodeling of our store makes our store look better and we have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Now kids choose healthy snacks over junk food.

by Kulwant
over 1 year ago | Reply

This remodeling of our store makes our store look better and we have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Now kids choose healthy snacks over junk food.

by Kulwant
over 1 year ago | Reply

Public Matters has created an ever growing network of community engagement within Los Angeles. Through their mentoring of tomorrow's leaders they offer young people the skills to teach and advocate for the health of their neighborhoods. With these transferable skills, participants in the program have the tools to create strong equitable communities in the future.

by margaret.crane1
over 1 year ago | Reply

Public Matters has created an ever growing network of community engagement within Los Angeles. Through their mentoring of tomorrow

by margaret.crane1
over 1 year ago | Reply

I'm a student from Roosevelt high school, I live in Boyle Heights . We need more healthy food in our community.

by Daniela14
over 1 year ago | Reply

We need a change in this part of the city Iim a student from roosevelt high school

by Yourpapi
over 1 year ago | Reply

I'm a student from Roosevelt High School and I voted for you guys.

by Lazalde
over 1 year ago | Reply

I'm a student from Roosevelt High School and I voted for you guys.

by Lazalde
over 1 year ago | Reply

I'm a teacher in Boyle Heights, working with Public Matters has been transformational for myself and my students. Students have become health advocates, and found a deep and passionate interest in food justice through the numerous empowering and lifting Market Makeovers projects!

by MrLopez
over 1 year ago | Reply

...what a great gift to any community and the future generations.

by loraerusso
over 1 year ago | Reply

I hope I get credit....

by Memo453
over 1 year ago | Reply

I'm Guillermo Avila ..... ;)

by Memo453
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is a very good project i really like it and it is very helpful for the community

by Memo453
over 1 year ago | Reply

Very good. I especially like the fact that they use the children to work without pay. I don't appreciate the fact that they are using my child to work when he doesn't want to or else they fail them... Other than that it's a very good project and I support it all the way. ;)

by Memo453
over 1 year ago | Reply

It's is an amazing to see that we could to something for our community.

by Rosy Navil
over 1 year ago | Reply

I had been part of those project for 2 years already and I had seen the change that has made in my community and in myself as well. I'm very proud to belong to this organization that cares about my community's eating habits and try to change it.

by Bambyliz
over 1 year ago | Reply

We often seek justice, and this is JUSTICE. This project offers opportunities that can change and save lives. It has helped my family and I want my neighbors to be safe as well. We need this project; this is a change for a healthier America and a better world.

by Dieguito8
over 1 year ago | Reply

I mean this is awesome :D
well is because we get to learn different ways to eat really healthy and well I'm proud to say that I'm almost there :)

by Claudio111
over 1 year ago | Reply

It's amazing to see how it has impacted many people and I hope that many people change their eating habits

by Claauuddiaaa
over 1 year ago | Reply

For every bit that Public Matters is the gold standard in market makeovers -- and it is the gold standard -- their work to shape young people into socially engaged, dedicated, creative, and thoughtful leaders is unparalleled. Every city should be so lucky to have a Public Matters.

by brettany.shannon.9
over 1 year ago | Reply

Go Market Makeovers - such a rare and signal combination of social action, youth development, investment in the future, and building sustainable practices. I am especially wowed by the deep involvement of young people -- as activists, researchers, designers, and spokespeople -- no mere poster kids -- but the heart and brain of the initiative.
-Dennie

by dennie
over 1 year ago | Reply

Public Matters

by hughesten
over 1 year ago | Reply

Public Matters is making such a difference in the lives and health of people in East LA. They exemplify how to collaborate with communities in creative ways to bring about meaningful change. Their work with kids in the schools inspires me, and the kids, no end.

by barbara.bogaev
over 1 year ago | Reply

This work not only highlights the extremity of the problem of food deserts, but focuses on positive solutions while involving the community; especially youth. Not only is the community bettering from market makeovers, but youth are learning how to empower themselves and voice their opinions. Thank you Public Matters for making this possible. Your efforts and work will have long lasting effects.

by s_gozalians
over 1 year ago | Reply

I have followed Public Matters for years and are amazed by there success. Their bottom up rather than top down approach to achieve changes in neighborhoods who desperately need it, one teen at a time - has great potential do some real changes in an engrained system.

by lothar.osterburg
over 1 year ago | Reply

As John F. Kennedy said when nominated to be the Democratic candidate, “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do."

Public Matters does just that: It is finding a new way. And empowering members of the next generation to stay nimble, creative, and find their own paths to influence and improve their communities. Keep up the good work!

by nina.wiener.90
over 1 year ago | Reply

The organization puts it best: "Public Matters is not after the quick fix. We’re in it for the long run." Throughout its history Public Matters has engaged in smart, determined, creative, community-based initiiatives that both matter _and_ make a difference. "Market Makeovers: NextGen Leaders" focuses on one of the most critical issues in our time: access to healthy food for neighborhoods. In the long run, this initiative can lead to healthy neighborhoods, healthy people and brighter futures.

by Jon Winet
over 1 year ago | Reply

I have seen first-hand the impact that market makeovers can make in communities, especially having so many around my neighborhood that don't have the healthiest options available. Maybe if there were fresh strawberries at a market I would consider taking that instead of a bag of chips.

by Marisol Marroquin
over 1 year ago | Reply

This is an amazing project bringing health to the community on many levels!

by mrgertner
over 1 year ago | Reply

Pink-ribbon-award-box-icon
Award_topvotedidea
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-submission-inactive

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08

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