The W.K. Kellogg Foundation will provide a $255,000 grant over the next three years to address issues in the 30901 and 30906 ZIP codes.
Paine College will be a partner in the effort, being spearheaded by the Augusta division of New Tools New Visions, which works with historically black colleges to reduce health disparities in Georgia.
"Primarily, the funding is to create a strategic plan on how we are going to carry out the community-based research and how we can use the results to take a closer look at the three areas of concern that the residents have identified," said Terence Dicks, the chairman of the group's steering committee.
The three goals of the project are to increase the knowledge and awareness of HIV and AIDS; reduce violence; and increase access to credible health care for area citizens, he added.
"People, locally and nationally, have noticed that there are disparities in these areas, and we want to take a closer look at this," Mr. Dicks said. "We are trying to find out if there are any contributing factors to the disparities and, if so, eliminate them."
Activities and strategies to address the issues will be determined by collaborating with community members and organizations to form research committees, conducting surveys, organizing focus groups and hosting town hall meetings.
The committee's Augusta division is one of five Georgia divisions that will look into issues in their areas. The other divisions are: Atlanta, Savannah, Albany and Fort Valley. Each is working with a historically black college or university.
Mr. Dicks said that the committee hopes to have a strategic plan in place by the end of the year.
W.K. Kellogg, who created the breakfast cereal company with his brother John, established the foundation that bears his name in 1930.
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.