Community Engagement Grant Writing Awardee Receives Food Well Alliance Community Grant

Dichos de la Casa was awarded the Food Well Alliance Community Grant and attributes the award to Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance’s (Georgia CTSA) Community Engagement Grant Writing Academy (CGWA). Dichos de la Casa received the award for a project that structures the local Latino community to own and present multidisciplinary discourse on their cultural foods, particularly Pico de Gallo. All ingredients will be grown in local school and community gardens. The project is titled: "¡Hay que comer!" Bridging local foods and cultural knowledge through participatory action.

Read more about the Food Well Alliance Community Grant

Dichos de la Casa, one of 8 CGWA awards, is a multi-disciplinary research organization aiming to substantiate the economic value of multicultural knowledge within the sphere of food, health, wellness, and the environment.

 “The Community Engagement Grant Writing Academy allowed me to change my writing style to be more direct. Writing in a way that was clearer and more succinct helped my grant applications to be universally accepted and appreciated. Now, I am able to write confidently. I was able to connect with and learn from other CBOs present,” said founder and director, Karla Blaginin. She strongly believes in the importance of advocating for health in the communities where everyone is offered a role in the process, as well as the interrelationship of research and the community. Her goal is “to create a sustainable model of participatory research in the community. An environment where a partnership exists between institutions and the community, where energy and intellectual exchange are equally rewarded.”

Karla Blaginin is also the 2018 recipient of the 2018 HERCULES Community Partner Award for her advocacy for the Latino community in Atlanta. The community engagement award was voted on by the Emory Health and Exposome Research Center: Understanding Lifetime Exposures (HERCULES) scientists.

The Georgia CTSA’s Community Engagement Grant Writing Academy (CGWA) offered a two-session writing class to provide accepted community-based organizations with the knowledge and skills to write competitive research grants. The goals were: to discuss and describe the components of community engagement research; identify and define a research interest; develop the framework for the methodology, research/evaluation plan, and budget; and write a competitive community-engaged research grant.

Georgia CTSA’s Community Engagement (CE) program is a core component of a collaborative effort between Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and University of Georgia (UGA). The program improves the way biomedical research is conducted and disseminated throughout Georgia and across the country. It works to unite existing academic-community research partnerships, facilitate community input into university research, and to increase health research in community settings that is both responsive and relevant to the health needs of the community.

The Georgia CTSA is a statewide partnership between Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and UGA and is one of over 50 in a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Awards, shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.