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Research has shown that in order to successfully address environmental health disparities, environmental health literacy (EHL) efforts need to be informed by the ethnically diverse communities they aim to serve. Understanding a community’s perspectives and informational needs is crucial to conducting and improving environmental health research and EHL initiatives. Socioeconomic variables, linguistic isolation, and measures of political engagement are just some of the factors that effect the spatial distribution of environmental hazards. These variables create additional engagement and educational challenges that need that to be addressed. Efforts to engage ethnically diverse community groups should be rooted in environmental justice, ecosocial theory, self-efficacy building, and empowerment education. Methods that can be used to effectively raise EHL among ethnically diverse community groups include: informal science education, community-based participatory research, public participation in scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, knowledge mediators, tailored and linguistically appropriate messaging, information design, and cultural models of risk communication. At end of this chapter, research examples are provided highlighting the variety of creative and transformative methods that can be applied to increase EHL in culturally diverse community groups.
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- Engaging with Ethnically Diverse Community Groups
- Chapter 4