The WRC is committed to the eradication of domestic violence. We look toward a future where victims’ services are not necessary, where violence against women and girls is no longer inevitable, and where all people are able to live safe, healthy lives in vibrant communities.
Empowering Communities with Innovative, Grassroots Strategies
Our innovative, resident-driven prevention strategies include:
- Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ). The Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ) is a city-wide coalition mobilizing residents and resources of the Broadway and North End neighborhoods to make Newport a place where everyone can thrive. Funded primarily through the Rhode Island Department of Health, the WRC serves as the backbone agency for this place-based collective impact project designed to decrease health disparities in Newport. 2017 was a busy year for the Newport HEZ; among our many accomplishments, we sponsored the first weekly farmers’ market in the neighborhood, piloted a fellowship program that resulted in six residents becoming certified community health workers, and launched our Fresh Zone initiative, which promotes fresh fruits and vegetables in corner stores and food pantries.
- North End Leaders Project. This past year, this project has facilitated the creation of the North End Neighborhood Association, supported three residents of the North End getting appointed to local boards and commissions, and hosted several dialogues between city leadership and residents.
- Creative Placemaking. Research links increases in social cohesion to improved health outcomes, including decreases in domestic violence. Partnering with the creative and cultural communities of Newport, the HEZ collaborative is leveraging the power of the arts, culture, and creativity to increase social cohesion and quality of place in the North End and Broadway neighborhoods. This year, we were excited to partner with the Newport Art Museum and Salve Regina University on the Tree Path project, engaging local organizations to make “tree wraps”—public art that hugs trees throughout the neighborhood.
It is important to note that the WRC is among a small cohort of organizations nationally who are engaging in health equity work as a domestic violence prevention strategy. We are truly at the forefront of this work, and have been invited to present at the Centers’ for Disease Control and Prevention and on several national webinars. Our team has also had the privilege of training domestic violence programs in other states as they begin to adopt evidence-informed prevention practice.