Clearing the Air History
The mission of UAPB’s Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office (MISRGO) is to transform the norms of minority communities such that tobacco use is unacceptable. The mission of the MISRGO served as a springboard and fueled discussions about an annual event in which advocates for tobacco prevention and education in minority communities could receive and provide information to assist in comprehensive public health efforts. Advocates could use the event as an opportunity to form collaborative networks to assist in informing Arkansans about the dangers of tobacco use in minority populations. Initially, the Clearing the Air in Communities of Color Conference focused on teaching best practices in tobacco control, displaying and demonstrating tobacco control work currently being done in minority communities, building capacity and providing content specifically designed to increase the involvement of minorities in tobacco control. The Clearing the Air in Communities of Color Conference, held annually, now serves to provide an opportunity for discussions on the latest policy changes and continues to teach best practices related to tobacco prevention in Arkansas.
Conference objectives include: 1) providing technical skills and comprehensive information for individuals involved in tobacco prevention and education in minority communities; 2) promoting the exchange of innovative programs and practices among individuals who are dedicated to eliminating disparities among different population groups; 3) improving multidisciplinary interaction and collaboration among professionals in tobacco prevention and education.
The Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office (MISRGO) has played a vital role in the reduction of tobacco use in communities of color. With over $10 million, to date, being spent in minority Arkansas communities to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs, MISRGO continues to seek opportunities to partner with local organizations or community affiliations in the fight against tobacco consumption.