Community Outreach Events

OutreachEventsWe always welcome volunteers to staff health education activities at our community outreach events, as our events provide ongoing opportunities for researchers, students, faculty, and partners to get involved in the community. We also welcome inquiries about our participation in events in the Boston area, as well as other opportunities for networking and collaboration. If you are interested in any of the above, please contact us!

Upcoming Events

Past Events

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Upcoming Events

Cambridge Science Festival
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 12:00 noon-4:00 PM
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA
Please volunteer with us at the Cambridge Science Festival! Visitors to our booth, hosted in conjunction with MIT COEC, will be able to measure their airways health, compare healthy and “cancerous” swine lungs, use LEGO® bricks to model complete and incomplete combustion, and age themselves using computer software to 72 according to habits like smoking and getting too much sun.

Volunteers are needed for shifts from 11:00am-2:00pm and 2:00pm-5:00pm. Responsibilities include staffing the various activity stations as well as set-up or break-down. Please contact Madeleine at mstraube@hsph.harvard.edu for more information and to sign up!
Event website
Volunteer information

Party for the Planet: Earth Day 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Franklin Park Zoo
1 Franklin Park Road, Dorchester, MA
Please volunteer with us at Party for the Planet: Earth Day 2014! Visitors to our booth will learn about environmental exposures to pollution through water run-off, as well as a few other surprises!

Volunteers are needed for shifts from 10:00am-1:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Responsibilities include staffing the various activity stations as well as set-up or break-down. Please contact Madeleine at mstraube@hsph.harvard.edu for more information and to sign up!
Event website
Volunteer information

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Past Events

Action for Health! Science Cafe
Monday, March 3, 2014, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA)
1803 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our inaugural Science Cafe, “Action for Health!” We had a great time talking to and learning from members of the community, policymakers, advocates, researchers, and more! We hope to work with many of you in the future to use the ideas that came up in group discussions to take action to improve air quality and health in Dorchester. Special thanks to our community partners, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance and GreenDorchester, whose invaluable collaboration made this event possible.

For those who were unable to attend, this event was an opportunity for about 35 community members, researchers, elected officials, policymakers, activists, and other interested parties to talk about air quality and health and find avenues to help foster community-driven change. The program included the launch of a Center-created Dorchester Book as a community resource, along with some policy recommendations; a brief talk on “Change in the Air: Researcher Perspective,” by Center Director Dr. Doug Dockery; table discussions on asthma, traffic and diesel exposure, and healthy homes; and a large group wrap-up where ideas were shared among all participants. Participants also had the opportunity to sign onto several community-based efforts to improve indoor and outdoor air quality in Dorchester. Feedback from the event will be compiled and distributed to interested parties for the purpose of future research, outreach, and action!

Thanks to Ann Backus (HSPH), Madeleine Straubel (HSPH), Cortina Vann (MAHA), and Joel Wool (GreenDorchester) for organizing this outreach event, and thanks also to Mary White (Boston Healthy Homes and Schools Collaborative), Annie Rushman (American Lung Association of the Northeast), and Joel Wool for facilitating the table discussions. Our gratitude is also due to MAHA for providing the venue for the event, as well as to the many community organizations and leaders in Dorchester who publicized and attended the event.
Event agenda
Event save the date
Event poster
Event press release

Love Your Home! Outreach Activity
RESCHEDULED for Thursday, February 20, 2014, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Building 1, Room 1302, HSPH
Thanks to the volunteers who joined us to make a healthy and eco-friendly home cleaning solution in preparation for our March 3 community meeting in Dorchester. All volunteers left with their own bottle of home cleaning solution, which has proven to be very effective!
Volunteer information

Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market
Sunday, February 9, 2014, 12:00 noon-4:00 PM
Codman Square Great Hall
6 Norfolk St, Dorchester, MA
Many thanks to the Dorchester Community Food Co-op for hosting the Harvard-NIEHS Center COEC and our air quality outreach at the Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market on Sunday, February 9th. Center representatives had a great time working with attendees and market personnel alike, conducting peak expiratory flow tests and talking about air pollution and its relationship to health with attendees. A special thanks to Eun Joo Park, Vivian Zeng, Alex Carll, and Mason Harrell for volunteering, as well as to Ann Backus and Madeleine Straubel for overseeing the event.
Event information
Volunteer information

Advances in Pediatric Health Care 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 7:30 AM-3:30 PM
Sheraton Colonial Boston North Hotel & Conference Center
1 Audubon Road, Wakefield, MA
Hosted by Boston Children’s Hospital
The COEC provided one partial scholarship of $50 toward the registration cost of $100 for a health care provider working for a local community health clinic.

Activism and Public Health: A Career at the Intersection of Environmental Health and Indigenous Rights
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 12:30 PM-1:30 PM
Kresge G2, Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA
Seminar by:
Winona LaDuke, Founding Director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project and Anishinaabe environmental activist
Introduction by:
Nancy Krieger, PhD; Professor of Social Epidemiology, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Concentration on Women, Gender, Health, Harvard School of Public Health; Chair of the Spirit of 1848 Caucus of the American Public Health Association
Vanessa W. Simonds (Crow/Blackfeet), ScD; Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa College of Public Health

Something Fishy: Fish Advisory Considerations for Public Health Nurses
Abstract 292410 of Session 4147.0 Environmental and Occupational Health
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
APHA, Boston, MA (Registration required)
Ann Backus, MS; Director, Community Outreach and Engagement Core, Harvard-NIEHS Center for Environmental Health

Harvard WorldMap: A Tool for Visualizing and Sharing Hydrofracking Data
Abstract 294040 of Session 3132 Health and Hydrofracking: Community Outreach and Information Needs
Monday, November 4, 2013, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
APHA, Boston, MA (Registration required)
Ann Backus, MS; Director, Community Outreach and Engagement Core, Harvard-NIEHS Center for Environmental Health

Health of Dorchester Community Meeting
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 4:30 PM-6:00 PM
Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
The Harvard-NIEHS Center COEC co-sponsored the 2013 Health of Dorchester community forum, “A family discussion on sexual health and chronic disease,” at Dorchester House Multi-Service Center on June 26th. Major community partners of the event were the Boston Alliance for Community Health, MUA (Mujeres Unidas Avanzando), and the Boston Public Health Commission, and sponsors were the Center and Carney Hospital. Prior to the meeting, Trevon Mayers, Alex Carll, Alissa Wilcox, Ann Backus, and Madeleine Straubel screened meeting attendees with peak expiratory flow measurements.  During the forum, Ann Backus, Marie-Christine David, and Blair Wylie facilitated community discussions around the topic of sexual health following a presentation by Barbara Ferrer, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission.
Event poster
Volunteer information

20th Annual Hoops N Health
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 12:00 noon-4:00 PM
Hoyt Field, Men of Color Health Initiative
The Community Outreach and Engagement Core of our Harvard-NIEHS Center showed up at Hoyt Field in Cambridge with lots of volunteers to provide Peak Expiratory Flow screenings at the Men of Color Health Initiative (MOCHI) event, “Hoops and Health.”  The event combined basketball and flag football competitions among local teams with a variety of health screenings coupled with health education for the players and the public. Ann Backus, Director of Outreach, reported that in four hours they completed peak expiratory flow measurements and discussed airway health with over 100 children and adults. Volunteers included Olutayo Olubiyi, Jongeun Rhee, Fernando Limbo, Christina Mark, Kaylin Mai, Trevon Mayers, Madeleine Straubel, Michael Alcala, Oluwatoyin Olubiyi, and Atcha Sethanandha.
Event poster
Volunteer information

Health Screenings Open House for Spanish-Speaking Community
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
The COEC group participated in a health open house for the Latino community at Dorchester House Multi-Service Center. Wan-Chen Lee, Rajarshi Mukherjee, Magda Bortoni Rodriguez, and Madeleine Straubel conducted Peak Flow screenings for open house attendees and other members of the Dorchester community.
Volunteer information

Cambridge Science Festival
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 12:00 noon-4:00 PM
Cambridge Public Library
Visitors to our booth, held in conjunction with MIT COEC, could measure their Peak Flow, compare healthy and cancerous swine lungs, use LEGO® bricks to model complete and incomplete combustion, and age themselves using computer software to 72 according to habits like smoking and getting too much sun. Thanks to Ann Backus and Madeleine Straubel for coordinating the event, and special thanks to the volunteers who participated: Oscar Arias, Adrianna Boulin, Chris Dobson, Liz Guzy, Maria Korre, Sharon Lee, Christina Mark, Caitlin Matson, Sonia Rosner, Alissa Wilcox, and Vivian Zeng.
Event website
Volunteer information

Dorchester Winter Farmers Market
Sunday, March 24, 2013, 12:00 noon-4:00 PM
Codman Square Great Hall, Dorchester Community Food Co-op
Center staff, students, and volunteers participated in the final Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market of 2012-2013, conducting Peak Flow tests on attendees to measure the health of their airways and educating folks about the importance of healthy diet and exercise, as well as the connections between air pollution and health. Much appreciation to Ann Backus, Fangli Geng, Liz Guzy, Nicole McAllister, Madeleine Straubel, Katy Terrell, and Fan Xu for staffing the event.
Event website
Volunteer information

Getting from Science to Policy: Bumps in the Road
Friday, November 2, 2012, 12:30 PM-1:20 PM
Kresge 502, HSPH
Special Seminar Presentation
Michael Silverstein, MD, MPH; Clinical Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Washington School of Public Health
Dr. Silverstein presented the seminar, “Getting from Science to Policy: Bumps in the Road” to a diverse audience of over thirty students, faculty, researchers, and staff. After attending the seminar, participants were able to 1) explain the relationship among science, values, and political process; 2) describe the pros of five options for ensuring that public health policies adequately reflect public health science; and 3) describe the cons of five options for ensuring that public health policies adequately reflect public health science.
Event poster
Speaker information

NIEHS Webinar Viewing: Hydraulic Fracturing and Environmental Public Health
Friday, July 20, 2012, 12:00 PM-1:30PM
1-1302, HSPH
This NIEHS webinar explored the complex issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing, considered the concerns expressed by communities, and highlighted current activities as a way of increasing our understanding of research and communication gaps. The COEC publicized and made the webinar available to the wider HSPH audience.
Event poster

Health of Dorchester Community Meeting
Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 4:30 PM-6:00 PM
Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
Prior to the 2012 Health of Dorchester, Harvard School of Public Health staff and mentees invited community members to measure the health of their airways using Peak Flow devices. Participants could see their lung flow capacity compared to standards for their age and gender, and then map their scores on a chart with data from other community events. Center affiliates also helped conduct round table discussions during the main event.
Event poster

Cambridge Science Festival
Friday, April 13, 2012, 12:00 noon-4:00 PM
Cambridge Public Library
Cambridge Science Festival attendees were able to learn the science behind environmental exposures that can hurt their health at our exhibit hosted in collaboration with the MIT COEC. Visitors to the exhibit measured their own airway health, compared inflated healthy lungs with smoke-damaged lungs, used LEGO® bricks to model air and air pollutant molecules, built DNA out of LEGO® bricks, and learned how sun exposure and smoking can damage DNA.
Event website

Change in the Air Community Health Forum
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 5:30 PM-7:35 PM
Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
This forum was a chance for members of the Dorchester community to help describe the complex picture of issues and policies that impact asthma rates and clean air, potentially shaping the priorities for future projects in the area, as well as learn about the NIEHS research pertaining to air quality and health. The forum ran as a moderated dialogue between the panelists and members of the community. Vietnamese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole translation was available.
Event poster

Clean Air Fair
Saturday, March 3, 2012, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
Leahy-Holloran Community Center
Community members of all ages measured their airway health, colored pictures emphasizing the importance of a “set-back” from the road; modeled air quality and combustion using LEGO® bricks; inflated healthy and diseased lungs; explored the connections between heart health, lung health, and air quality; watched videos about air quality; and “aged” themselves using computer software to see the lasting effects of sun exposure, smoking, and weight gain on their appearance.
Location website

Clean Air Fair
Saturday, February 25, 2012, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID)
Vietnamese children and their parents measured their airway health; colored pictures emphasizing the importance of a “set-back” from the road; modeled air quality and combustion using LEGO® bricks; inflated healthy and diseased lungs; explored the connections between heart health, lung health, and air quality; and “aged” themselves using computer software to see the lasting effects of sun exposure, smoking, and weight gain on their appearance.
Location website

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Get Involved!

To learn how you can be part of our Community Outreach,
contact our Outreach Team.