Kansas City is one of eight winners of the 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize for its work in preventing violence, promoting literacy and organizing communities.
The award, which defines community health promotion activities broadly, comes with a $25,000 cash award from the New Jersey-based foundation.
Kansas City was recognized for several programs: the Health Department’s Aim4Peace initiative, which uses health workers to intervene in neighborhoods to prevent violence; Communities Creating Opportunity, which helps organize community members to work for changes such as predatory lending reform and a minimum wage increase; and Kansas City Public Schools, which along with more than 50 community partners distributed 32,000 books to children and recruited more than 450 volunteers to improve literacy.
“We’re building Kansas City to be a city that cares for everyone in it, and we only do that by working together,” said Mayor Sly James. “The genuine commitment to all citizens in our Health Department and many partners is the foundation of the greater community we want for future generations.”
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Kansas City was selected from more than 340 prize applications across the country. The seven other winning communities are Bridgeport, Conn.; Bronx, N.Y.; Everett, Mass.; Lawrence, Mass.; the Menominee Nation in northeastern Wisconsin; Spartanburg County, S.C.; and the Lac du Flambeau Tribe in Wisconsin.