Conocimiento es Salud

Luz Southside Partnership –> Conocimiento es Salud

Conocimiento es Salud

Mia Ruiz, Community Prevention Coordinator
E-mail: [email protected]

Luz Southside Partnership
3819 South Evans, Suite 304
Tucson, AZ 85714
(520) 294-7620
(520) 294-1142 fax

The Conocimiento Es Salud (Knowledge is Health) project is managed out of the Luz Southside Partnership office. The funding source is the Department of Education, and the project period spans from Fall semester of 2001 to Spring semester 2003, two school years. Collaborators for the project include the Ms. Foundation and DRA Consulting.

The Conocimiento es Salud project will strive to address the needs of adolescents in South Tucson through a youth empowerment process designed to mobilize the community on Tucson’s Southside. Through a class offered at Luz Academy called Knowledge, Power, and Reproductive Health, the students will develop a knowledge base with respect to issues of reproductive health. These issues will include, but not be limited to: Teen pregnancy, HIV and STD awareness, sexual orientation and lifestyle, body image, traditional healing, legal rights, and public policy. Students will use that knowledge base to develop individual positions on the issue.

The program will begin in the Fall of 2001, when the first section of the class dedicated to developing the knowledge base begins. By the Spring of 2002, students will move on to the second section of the class, where they will begin outreach work in the community to identify perceptions and attitudes toward reproductive health in the Southside. This information, coupled with the knowledge gained in the previous semester, will allow students to recognize gaps in knowledge in the community, and also identify different options to close those gaps in a culturally competent manner.

The third section (Fall, 2002) of the course will involve strategic planning to raise awareness of issues of reproductive health in the community, particularly to other youth. Finally, students involved in the fourth section of the course (Spring 2003) will develop and implement different strategies to advocate for youth’s rights with respect to reproductive health. By the Spring of 2003, the Conocimiento Es Salud project will be considered fully implemented. The third year of the project will be spent continuing the work that was begun in the first two years, with any adjustments made as deemed necessary.

Current Activities:
Students are conducting community interviews of various age groups, peer, parent, and grandparent. Students are building a website to summarize their understanding of topics covered during the semester and to provide a community resource of information on the subjects. Next semester the students will continue expanding the content of the website with material garnered in their community outreach activities.

To date, the class has 15 students: three boys and twelve girls, two Anglo, ten Hispanic and three African-American students.