PROJECT SAFE FOR APIS
Safe and Active Family Environments for Asians and Pacific Islanders (S.A.F.E. for APIs)
Data consistently shows that Pacific Islander (PI) populations are an underserved community with the highest rates of obesity in LA County. S.A.F.E for APIs addresses this by building upon APIOPA’s pilot project in 2007-2009 to increase access to physical activity to PI neighborhoods. Using guidelines that our PI Community Action Group (CAG) developed during the pilot project, we are advocating that public parks adopt standards for safety, cleanliness and culturally competent family programming to promote active and healthy lifestyles. Currently we are working on Lennox Park (Lennox) and Victoria Park (Carson).
The guidelines are that the parks:
- maintain lights and extend lighting hours past 8:45pm
- maintain clean and well-lit walking paths
- provide bathroom access during park hours
- provide staff presence during park hours
- provide culturally appropriate family programming for physical fitness and health nutrition
Our PI partners are on the ground-level, making this program happen. They are the ones developing relationships with local legislators, community-based organizations, businesses and other community members. They are the ones organizing the community to take action in restoring faith in their community parks. The work would not be where it is without:
Perci Flores from Guam Communications Network
Vanessa Tui’one from Tongan Community Service Center
In addition to this, we aim to work on the environmental health aspects of this project. As we address the parks, we will also be strategizing on how to concurrently address the air quality surrounding the parks. Pollution, such as particulate matter from the neighboring freeways or commerce, has been linked to asthma, other respiratory diseases, and obesity.
S.A.F.E for APIs is a First 5 LA funded project with the policy goal of maintaining a healthy weight for children through the improvement of public park facilities, including family programs, in order to promote physical activity and healthy nutrition.