The Urban & Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI) is a research, policy, and advocacy, organization at Occidental College committed to bringing about social change and a more just, livable and green society. UEPI engages students, faculty, and staff at its home on Oxy’s campus and connects Oxy with its community partners in Los Angeles and beyond.
August 2016 | UEPI's Summer Public Health Internship wraps up a 4th successful year!
Three interns spent 10-weeks this summer learning by doing at health organizations in Los Angeles. Anna Warrick (2017, UEP) worked on care coordination and resource finding at ChapCare, a community health center in Pasadena; Jessica Shiosaki (2018, Biochemistry) interned with the Client Services Department at Foothill Unity Center where she worked with case managers to serve the social service and health needs of low-income community members, and plan for back to school events; and Eva Townsend (2018, Spanish major) interned at the MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) Clinic. One of her projects was to develop health education bulletin boards in the clinic waiting room. Eva (right) is pictured next to the boards with CSUN public health intern Kaitlin Day (left). Says Elizabeth Diaz, Assistant Clinic Manager, "It is because of interns like Eva and Kaitlin that the MEND Clinic is able to offer services to uninsured and under-served residents."
July 2016 | School Food Champions, Organizing for Change
From 2014 to 2016 UEPI's Healthy School Food Coalition mobilized a diverse coalition of community members and groups to continue advocating for healthy school food and nutrition policy at local schools in Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles. Through case studies HSFC's new publication, "School Food Champions, Organizing for Change," highlights community work, shares lessons learned and recommendations of how others can work towards policy enforcement and improvement of school food, as well as school eating environments.
May 2016 | Crude LA: California's Urban Oil Fields
Learn about the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak and the health concerns of the local community. Produced by VICE NEWS, the video discusses the environmental health risks of urban oil fields and regulatory loopholes in California. Bhavna Shamasunder, Oxy professor and UEPI staff member, is featured in the video.
April 2016 | MFN members meet US EPA Administrator McCarthy
On April 5th fourteen Moving Forward Network members from across the country met with US EPA Administrator McCarthy in Washington, D.C. These members came from Southern California, the Bay Area, Houston Texas, Kansas City, Kansas, Charleston, South Carolina, Tallahassee, Florida and New Jersey. Each of their communities is negatively impacted by freight facilities such as sea ports, truck corridors, rail yards, logistic centers or a combination of these. Freight operations emit deadly diesel exhaust that destroys the health of exposed communities while also contributing to global climate change. Working with the US Environmental Protection Agency has been a challenge. However, with the leadership of Administrator Gina McCarthy we are making some progress and expect to have a good outcome.
February 2016 | Zika virus fact sheet in English and Spanish
Responding to the need for community based information about the Zika virus, interns from the UEP 307 Public Health Practicum class have partnered with staff from the MEND Clinic, a practicum partner site to develop a fact sheet in Spanish and English. "Como evitar los mosquitos que puede transmitir la Zika" and "How to avoid mosquitoes that can spread the Zika virus" can be downloaded for distribution by following the links below. Please contact UEPI's Community Health Engagement staff with any questions.
December 2015 | School Food Convening on Feb. 10, 2016
The convening will be a great opportunity to:
- Learn more about school food policies and best practices
- Support efforts to improve the health and well-being of students
- Build your advocacy skills
- Network with other organizations focused on health and wellness in the greater Los Angeles area
- The federal school nutrition programs, such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, increase access to nutritious food for children. Nutritious school meals not only have a positive impact on student health but also academic achievement. Healthy diets are critical for reducing obesity and diet-related diseases such as diabetes.
- Over 2 million low-income students in California participate in the National School Lunch Program. Over 560,000 of these children are in Los Angeles County and over 190,000 reside in each of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. (See State & County Profiles. link)
- Ensuring school meals are nutritious and accessible helps to ensure that California kids are healthy and successful!
Organizations and individuals interested in:
- Learning more about school food programs and policy and their impact on student health and academic achievement.
- Building advocacy skills – learning how to build support around an issue or policy.
- Taking action to improve the health and well-being of students, their families and the community.
- Networking with other organizations in the greater Los Angeles area.
- Anyone passionate about student wellness and nutrition!
We would like to extend a special invitation to organizations partnering with or working within Boyle Heights, Central Santa Ana, Long Beach, and South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities sites. link
How much does the convening cost?
This convening is free of charge and lunch will be provided! Please RSVP. link
November 2015 | Fighting diet related disease by choosing water over sugary drinks
UEPI is in its third year of participating in Choose Health LA: an initiative of the LA County Department of Public Health aimed at improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and reducing obesity across the LA region. California has the highest rates of obesity among children ages 2-4, and these rates are disproportionately high among Latino and African-American children.
“Water: The Healthiest Choice” is a campaign launched by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It is aimed at parents and focuses on providing simple, straightforward information about soda, sports and juice drinks and their link to obesity and type 2 diabetes. The multilingual media campaign encourages parents to give their children water and remove sugary drinks from their diet. You can already see campaign materials at bus stops, metro stations, and other advertising locations throughout the city, and UEPI staff will be promoting the campaign in the Northeast LA region.
October 2015 | UEPI and the National Farm to School Network celebrate Farm to School Month!
Great interview with Anupama Joshi, Executive Director of the National Farm to School Network and former UEPI staff member.
Watch a short documentary on the scholarship and policy work of Prof. Bob Gottlieb:
July 2015 | Long time UEPI/Oxy community partner, James Rojas, received the California’s Planning Advocate Award of Excellence for 2015. James has led numerous workshops for the Oxy community and communities throughout the country, inspiring people to think about planning "through the medium of their own livedexperiences, memories, and imagination." We look forward to working with James this August as he kicks off the OxyEngage Social Justice trip with PLACE IT! Congratulations James!
May 2015 | Moving Forward Network Action at the NEJAC meeting in San Diego, CA
November 2014 | On November 12, 2014, Occidental College Professor of Urban and Environment Policy Robert Gottlieb was the recipient of the Graham L. Sterling Award, the College's most prestigious faculty honor. Watch his acceptance lecture below!
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