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Stanford Engagement in the Region

2021 Community projects to address pandemic challenges

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With support from the Office of Community Engagement, Stanford faculty are joining forces with community organizations to help remedy pandemic-related challenges.

OCE has selected several projects for seed funding to encourage collaborations created by faculty and community organizations. These projects, which fall in the areas of affordability/social services, arts, education, and health, continue to concentrate on reducing the impacts of COVID-19 affecting communities in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Teen in allcove office

allcove Youth – Amplifying Youth Mental Health Services and Voices

Faculty: Steven Adelsheim, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; director, Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, SOM

In Collaboration With: Safe and Supportive Schools, San Mateo County Office of Education

Description: Given the escalating youth mental health crisis worsened by the global pandemic, this project aims to convene a Youth Advisory Group made up of diverse young people, with strong representation from low-English literacy, low-income communities. Youth advisors will inform and propel the advancement of three projects – allcove, the Stanford K-12 Mental Health Collaborative and the Media and Mental Health Initiative – to develop a peer listening and supportive training that potentially includes elements of Mental Health First Aid, the Belonging Project, empathy training and suicide prevention programs. The project will create a safe and supportive environment for youth leaders and equip them to better support and educate their peers on mental health-related issues.

Bridging Technological Divide in Pandemic Resources for Marginalized Communities

Faculty: Temesgen Woldeyesus, clinical assistant professor, SOM

In Collaboration With: Roots Community Health Center (San Jose)

Description: To circumvent the digital divide and promote health equity, the project aims to build digital capacity and infrastructure within a trusted community partner, Roots Community Health Center, to technologically scale ongoing efforts to reduce widening racial disparities in Santa Clara County. They will deploy a 12-month pilot of a multilingual two-way text-messaging-based community engagement solution to build a trust-based community outreach and awareness campaign for COVID and vaccine-related education, support current vaccine-related operations, and integration of an existing COVID/Telehealth outreach program to support troubleshooting vaccine registration and assess technological gaps for marginalized community members.

Stanford hospital on a rainy day
Community Health Education workers knocking on doors

Community health education workers known as promotoras de salud, go door to door in 2021.  Image credit: Chelcey Adami 

Community Health Workers Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness and Public Health Guidelines in Latinx Communities

Faculty: Lisa Goldman Rosas, assistant professor (research) of epidemiology and population health and of medicine; faculty director, Office of Community Engagement, Stanford School of Medicine (SOM); Patricia Rodriguez Espinosa, instructor, epidemiology and population health; associate director of research, Office of Community Engagement, SOM

In Collaboration With: SOMOS Mayfair

Description: In a community of practice and learning, n/community health workers (CHWs) will receive training and co-develop resources to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines in under-resourced communities, combat misinformation and promote public health guidelines. The project will strengthen and evaluate the effectiveness of resources and outreach in four key areas: 1) capacity development among CHWs; 2) evidence-based materials (particularly in Spanish) for community members addressing COVID-19 misinformation and adherence to prevention guidelines; 3) social media as a tool for promoting vaccine confidence and uptake; 4) mental health resources.

Co-Teaching Mentorship with Sunnyvale School District – Supplemental Teaching & Learning Experience for STEP Graduates

Faculty: Ira Lit, associate professor (teaching) of education, Graduate School of Education

In Collaboration With: Sunnyvale School District

Description: The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) is collaborating with the Sunnyvale School District on a summer school program to provide in-person recovery learning and extra support to K-8 Sunnyvale students. In addition, the summer school program will offer an opportunity for an in-person supplemental teaching and learning experience for recent STEP graduates, who spent most or all of this year teaching in an online classroom context. These summer opportunities will be of great benefit to district students and families, as well as to the STEP graduates, many of whom will go on to teaching positions in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Contacts: Ruth Ann Costanzo and Nancy Lobell

Hub Awardee Sunnyvale
Students in lab

Digital Humanities Research & Training for Foothill College Students

Faculty: Giovanna Ceserani, associate professor of classics, School of Humanities and Sciences; faculty director, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Office of the Dean of Research

In Collaboration With: Humanities Mellon Scholars Program Director, Foothill College

Description: The Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) is partnering with Foothill College to develop a summer quarter 2021 program for Foothill College students interested in pursuing humanities-adjacent careers or courses of study. Students will be paired with Stanford humanities doctoral students for an eight-week summer internship, over the course of which the interns will work on digital humanities projects and learn transferable skills such as research design, data analysis and visualization techniques and digital publication strategies. Feedback and lessons learned will support CESTA’s development of a broader community college digital humanities research internship program for students from institutions across San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Emerging Creative Practices: Teacher Training and Curriculum Development for Youth Arts Education

Faculty: Adam Banks, professor of education, Graduate School of Education; faculty director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts

In Collaboration With: EPACENTER

Description: Through student-to-student residencies, internships and contributions to teacher training, the Institute for Diversity in Arts will connect East Palo Alto youth to emerging creative practices and tools. The project will expand the range of skills that EPA youth learn; prepare EPA youth to work with and make productive connections to industry leaders through EPACENTER’s workforce development programs, apprenticeships and internships; and further a workforce of highly skilled, creative and technologically savvy East Palo Alto residents.

Contact: Gina Hernandez

Cantor Arts Center area including the McMurtry Building and the Rodin sculpture garden
Encina Hall - home of Stanford Impact Labs

Local Impact Labs University Collaborative

Faculty: Jeremy Weinstein, professor of political science, School of Humanities and Sciences; faculty director, Stanford Impact Labs

In Collaboration With: Silicon Valley Community FoundationJoint Venture Silicon Valley

Description: Seeking to tackle the drivers of systemic inequity in Silicon Valley that have left the bottom quartile of the region – disproportionately BIPOC communities and undocumented residents – unable to achieve financial well-being, stable housing and upward economic mobility, Stanford Impact Labs will help launch research-practice partnerships that investigate regional systemic inequities. Local Impact Labs will pair faculty-led teams from local higher education institutions with Silicon Valley Community Foundation grantees and regional leaders to apply research and evidence to advance equity.

Contact: Karli Stander

Pilot Interventions to Reduce Pretrial Incarceration

In Collaboration With: Santa Clara County Public Defender Office

Faculty: Sharad Goel, assistant professor of management science and engineering, School of Engineering

Description: To reduce pretrial incarceration and help individuals get to court, Goel is working with the Santa Clara County Public Defender Office to automate text message reminders and arrange transportation assistance to the court. With increased appearance rates fueled by their intervention, they expect a reduction in incarceration that can stem from missed court dates, directly improving the lives of the most vulnerable community members.

Science and engineering quad