An action-oriented community diagnosis for West Liberty, North Carolina : findings and next steps of action Public Deposited

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  • January 13, 2022
Creator
  • Cooper, Siobhan
    • Other Affiliation: Edwards Grove Missionary Baptist Church
  • Hoehn, Mary
    • Other Affiliation: Randolph County Health Department
  • Slazas, Susan
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Talekar, Bhavna
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Wallace, Jimmy
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
Abstract
  • This document is a report of the qualitative findings from an Action Oriented Community Diagnosis (AOCD) of West Liberty. In addition to being described as a community located on the western side of the town of Liberty, North Carolina, West Liberty is also known as "where the black people live." Five graduate students in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Public Health conducted this AOCD from November 2001 to April 2002. The two preceptors for the team, MiMi Cooper, Health Director of the Randolph County Health Department, and Reverend M. P. McCleave, Senior Pastor at Edwards Grove Missionary Baptist Church, introduced the team to community members and service providers in the community and helped the team gain entrée into the West Liberty community. The AOCD team learned about life and issues deemed to be of importance in West Liberty through interviews and focus groups with community members and people who provide services in the town. The AOCD team members then analyzed all of the information pertaining to these themes and compiled them into a portion of this document. At the end of the AOCD process, community members and service providers came together at the West Liberty Community Meeting to discuss many of the important issues identified. From these discussions, attendees developed action steps to build on the community’s strengths and address issues people wanted to change. One of the issues discussed at the Community Meeting was lack of representation from West Liberty on the Liberty Town Council. To address this problem, West Liberty residents took action by deciding to organize a campaign to elect Reverend Elvin Marley to the Town Council. A lack of youth employment was another issue that frequently emerged during the AOCD process. As a result, participants at the Community Meeting decided to advertise and garner interest among 9th and 10th graders about the Liberty Chamber of Commerce’s career “shadowing” program. Others expressed concern over the lack of recreational opportunities available to West Liberty youth. Thus, community members designed action steps to work with the Parks and Recreation Department to organize a softball league and consider making improvements to West Liberty’s Paul Henry Smith Park. In addition, discussions around health services revealed that many of the town and county services are unknown and therefore underutilized by community members. Attendees decided that a health resource person should be designated in each church as a way of informing community members of available services. Finally, a number of community members expressed the desire to reduce the crime and drug problems in West Liberty. Those at the Community Meeting decided to form a neighborhood watch program in West Liberty and agreed to seek involvement from the Liberty Police Department. In addition to the themes and action steps discussed at the West Liberty Community Meeting, the AOCD team received information on other topics of interest and believes there are numerous strengths in the community that could address other challenges facing West Liberty. Underlying issues of community cohesiveness, town decision-making systems, and opportunities for growth and development have a tremendous impact on the health and well being of the West Liberty community and its place in the town of Liberty. Thus, increased participation in community-centered organizations, such as the Concerned Citizens of Liberty, would help unify the community and its strengths to drive improvements. In addition, increased collaboration between the West Liberty community and the town of Liberty, with consideration of social, political, economic, and historical factors, may better facilitate equality in decision-making. Finally, establishing a community center would provide residents with more opportunities for personal growth and development in terms of education and recreation and may serve to increase cohesiveness within the community. The action steps created during the West Liberty Community Meeting also demonstrate the strength of the community and their desire to bring about positive change in West Liberty, and the town as a whole. To further strengthen these efforts, the community may want to consider increasing their collaboration with the town government and other residents or groups from Liberty who have similar concerns. The community may also benefit from drawing on the experience of other communities that have overcome challenges similar to theirs.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • McCleave, M. Philip
    • Other Affiliation: Edwards Grove Missionary Baptist Church
  • Cooper, MiMi
    • Other Affiliation: Randolph County Health Department
  • Eng, Geni
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Moore, Karen
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
Degree
  • Master of Public Health
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2002
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Extent
  • iii, 50 pages, 83 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 28 cm.
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