The Family Voices Family Wisdom (FVFW) project is a group-based, family-led collaboration with the purpose of preventing and reversing childhood obesity. The project goal was for American Indian and Spanish-speaking parents to gather and discuss which education practices in healthy eating and exercise best met their needs. Through family and community engagement, the project focuses on capacity building that combines health education with advocacy—as well as research training and development—as means to a comparative effectiveness research project. The project utilizes community brokers and trainers; it incorporates organizational partnerships to conduct outreach into underserved communities (in particular, communities of color and rural communities) and to facilitate discussions of ecologic factors that contribute to health disparities for people of color.
The FVFW approach is appealing to community-based organizations serving Spanish-speaking and American Indian families because:
- It adapts to cultural context through multiculturalism and the use of community brokers and trainers from the same cultural background as its participants.
- It is built on the foundation of acknowledging barriers and oppression that have contributed to poor health outcomes for people of color.
- It provides a framework for engagement between community-based organizations and communities of color.
The FVFW team proposes to develop a comparative effectiveness research project that builds on community and family strengths in order to offer families the opportunity to share childhood obesity prevention strategies with each other in supportive learning environments.