| Program: || Cultural Diversity Program, American Lung Association, Washington, DC |
| Contact(s): || Sherri Watson Hyde, Director, ALA Cultural Diversity Programs and Anthony DeLucia, Ph.D., Chairman, ALA Cultural Diversity Committee: (202)785-3355 |
| Purpose: || To reduce the high prevalence of lung disease in minority and economically disadvantaged communities through culturally appropriate health education and prevention programs, community partnerships and volunteer and staff enrichment activities |
The American Lung Association (ALA) Cultural Diversity Program was established following a 1985 report on the disproportionate rates of lung disease among minorities and the economically disadvantaged. The report identified culturally inappropriate services and limited access to lung health information as ALA's barriers to promoting healthy lifestyles in these communities. In response, the ALA Board of Directors adopted a national policy calling for more culturally sensitive programs and services. These efforts are now administered through the Cultural Diversity Programs. The Board also proposed that ALA's programs and governances include greater representation from communities with the greatest lung health needs.
Cultural Diversity Programs facilitate the development and delivery of more diverse services for ALA's 99 local offices and volunteers, while fostering national partnerships with minority and grassroots organizations. The programs include: 1) Staff Diversity Team which enhances office relations and eliminates cultural barriers within ALA through monthly and annual seminars, and diversity trainings; 2) "Open Airways for Schools," a national asthma management training program for black youth, administered in partnership with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, a 70,000 member national black organization for women; 3) Tobacco Control Programs which are conducted in collaboration with national Hispanic health organizations and black churches; and 4) An Environmental Justice Grants Program which helps low-income and minority communities resolve indoor air hazards in their area.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Cultural Diversity Programs have provided practical and community-based solutions for persons hardest hit by lung disease. Its successes include 10,000 participants in ALA's Black Church Initiative; more than 2,000 schools in its Zeta Phi Beta Asthma Partnership; and hundreds of "Environmental Justice grantees" working to improve indoor air quality in their homes. These programs have also fostered ties for eliminating racial barriers, while increasing the Lung Association's insight into the nation's ever-changing cultural concerns.