A community initiative where children’s health is protected from household toxins through environmental education, participatory research and job creation.
Partnership Effort for the Advancement of Children’s Health (PEACH) began as a collaboration between North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and Northeast Central Durham (NECD) Community Reinvestment Board, Inc.
The goal of PEACH was to expand the effective community/university partnership between the Northeast Central Durham community and experts in health education and environmental science at NCCU.
The partnership between NCCU and NECD targeted the lingering problem of lead poisoning in children. The community believed there was a need for an effective dialogue and an integrated educational program to resolve the environmental justice problem that contributed to lead poisoning in children. The specific aims of the program were:
1) To form a PEACH coalition,
2) To identify/improve conditions of houses in NECD where the lead poisoning problem was most acute, and where housing conditions were the most threatening,
3) To use effective dialogue to mediate contacts between the community, the environmental agencies, and state and local programs on lead; and
4) To generate a plan for collection, interpretation and presentation of the data from the project.
The expectations of the project were to approach environmental justice on the solid platform of application of outreach educational methods, promotion of environmental science, and accessibility to and responsiveness to medical care.
The PEACH coalition framework was used by Durham Community Development Department (DCD) to secure grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to mitigate lead-based paint hazards in Durham houses. Durham Community Development was successful in securing several million dollars in lead-based paint hazard control grants from HUD and other sources.
In 2007 PEACH was incorporated as a 501 (C) (3) charitable organization, under the leadership of Lenora Smith and Effie Steele.
Today, PEACH continues the focus on residential lead-based paint hazards that prompted the community and the university to start the initiative and now also includes asbestos. PEACH provides entrepreneurial, economic development, State regulated training, and community-based research programs for lead-based paint, asbestos, and other residential environmental and safety concerns
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