"We are all in this world together it is up to us, as as a whole to bury our difference and begin a New world where everybody can be comfortable in their own skin."
Poverty Poverty has broken to many families for too long.According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. It is a necessary that we recognize this cry for help and take action to give value back to human life. One of the major focuses of our center is to address the vast levels of poverty both on a local and a national scale.
Smart Growth & Equitable Development Smart growth is linked to affordable housing shortages by critics because it increases housing values for minorities by restricting the available land, which does not account for discriminatory housing policies. On the other hand, sprawl development exacerbates school crowding, heightens the disparities between urban and suburban schools, accelerates urban infrastructure decline, concentrates poverty, creates a spatial mismatch between urban workers and suburban job centers, intensifies racial disparities, and negatively impacts public health. Other factors of noting are:
- People of color make up a sizable share of the population in sprawl threatened cities. For example, the percent people of color in the Sierra Club’s (1998) “top fifteen” sprawled-threatened large cities include: Atlanta (68.9%), St. Louis (49.0%), Washington, DC (70.4%), Cincinnati (39.5%), Kansas City (33.1%), Denver (27.8%), Seattle (24.6%), Minneapolis (21.5%), St. Paul (17.6%), Ft. Lauderdale (30.4%), Chicago (54.5%), Detroit (78.4%), Baltimore (60.9%), Cleveland (50.4%), Tampa (29.0%), and Dallas (44.6%).
- Damages from sprawl include breaking up stretches of pristine habitats, wildlife impacts, and reductions in the abundance and diversity of bird species. Ground-level ozone is responsible $1 to $2 billion in reduced crop production per year.
- Exclusionary zoning (and rezoning) has been a subtle form of using government authority and power to foster and perpetuate discriminatory practices—including environmental planning. Exclusionary zoning has been used to zone against people rather than for something. However, expulsive zoning has pushed out residential uses and allowed dirty industries to invade communities.
- Students of color comprise a majority of the students enrolled in fifteen of the sixteen Sierra Club (1998) most sprawled-threatened large cities. These cities include Atlanta (93.2 percent), Saint Louis (81.6 percent), Washington, DC (95.5 percent), Cincinnati (74.3percent), Kansas City (83.1percent), Denver (78percent), Seattle (60percent), Minneapolis (67.9percent), Saint Paul (64.7percent), Fort Lauderdale (58.8percent), Chicago (90.4percent), Detroit (96.3percent), Baltimore (89.2percent), Cleveland (80.7percent), Tampa (48.2percent), and Dallas (92.2percent). The minority enrollment ranges from a low of 48.2 percent in Tampa-Hillsborough schools to 95.5 percent in Washington, DC, schools.
- Affluent and predominately white exurban communities attract most of the economic growth. Suburban communities with large black populations attract less growth and heavier social service burdens, which drives taxes higher. Black communities are discriminated against in the market for commercial investments and isolated from favored commercial markets.
- Sprawl development seems to be inefficient. For example, energy obtained from district networks of heat, cooling, and cogeneration are better served by clustered or more densely populated urban development than other forms such as sprawling, low-density development. Sprawling development patterns require expensive investments in sewer, water, and road extensions. Reduced travel times and improved jobs-to-housing balance are other benefits of smart growth for depressed urban communities.
According to the united Nations World Hunger Programe over 795 Million people go hungry each year. Food is a necessity for life and as a result the issue of hunger has a major impact on our world. One of the major research focuses of our center is to examine the complexities of world hunger and how we as global citizens can help to alleviate both local and global hunger related issues.
One of the most fulfilling gifts in the world is knowing that you could provide to make the world a better place.”
Heroes are people who stand up for the rights of others
Using everything in the power to make the world better
National presence of what is right and just
Giving everything in your power to help
Everywhere there is somebody that could use our help
Resources we can give provide better living
The built environment refers to man-made surroundings that provide a setting for human activity which includes buildings, parks, green space, trails, transportation systems, neighborhoods and cities. Green space creation and preservation are better achieved by acquisition rather than through regulatory constraints. Outright acquisitions of significant green spaces can create recreational amenities and help preserve biodiversity. Conclusively, parks and green space offers a range of health benefits and they provide settings for physical activity and social interaction.
- Protected green spaces and parks enhance surrounding land values and can reduce the visual blight of unmitigated sprawling business and residential development. Protected green spaces, particularly metropolitan area parks, are able to support a variety of recreational activities and can also act as a focal point for more vital social, political, and market activity.
- Municipal parks that are well maintained often act as a magnet, attracting more concentrated forms of mixed-use development. These parks provide an amenity often missing from the sprawl landscape.
- Transportation infrastructure forms the connective tissue that links buildings, neighborhoods, and parks together and represents an integral part of the built environment. Equity concerns in transportation include how transportation infrastructure, such as highways and bus depots, are normally located near to locally undesirable land use (LULU) sites. Poor people and people of color disproportionately live near these LULUs and suffer health consequences such as the effects of diesel air pollution, noise, injury risks, and ugliness. There are some transportation systems that do not provide poor people with convenient, practical access to employment, medical care, and other necessities that undermine their health in many ways.
- The nation faces a shortage of housing; housing is unaffordable for many low-wealth families; and much of the available housing, especially rental stock, is substandard. Substandard housing is clearly bad for health, posing risks that range from lead poisoning to respiratory disease.
- Low-income and poor children who reside in substandard housing, with such features as rat infestations, leaks, holes in walls and floors, and lack of heat, water, and/or functioning toilets, are at an increased risk of emotional disorders and other health problems.
- In low-wealth neighborhoods where members of minority groups disproportionately live, junk food, soda, and cigarettes are readily available in small markets and neighborhood ‘mom and pop stores’. Meanwhile, grocery stores that sell fresh foods are scarce and/or expensive; diabetics have a hard time finding appropriate foods; restaurants are unlikely to serve fresh fruits and vegetables; and liquor stores are common. These environmental factors matter and they help explain why people who live in poor neighborhoods eat less healthy diets than the general population.