The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute announced on Saturday that Safe Streets East is the winner of the Third annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award. Named in honor of Henrietta Lacks, the award recognizes and supports Baltimore community organizations that are collaborating with Johns Hopkins University to improve the health and well-being of the city of Baltimore.
The announcement was made on October 5, 2013 at the Annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture at Johns Hopkins University Medical Campus. In presenting the award, Bob Blum, Director of the Urban Health Institute said “I read all of the nominations and there are few things that renew my faith in this extraordinary city as reading those nominations because it says at every corner, at every nook and spot in this city there are people who are passionately committed to building a better Baltimore and who are passionately committed to the health and wellbeing of their neighborhood.”
Safe Streets East is one of over a dozen established community-university collaborations from across the city nominated for the award of $15,000. The organization was selected by a panel of leadership from community and city organizations and Johns Hopkins as a model collaboration for creating and sustaining healthier communities.
Safe Streets East is funded by the Baltimore City Health Department and was nominated by The Living Classrooms Foundation.
Safe Streets East is a community mobilization and outreach program designed to combat shootings and homicides. Safe Streets Baltimore uses a unique, interdisciplinary, public health approach to violence prevention. They maintain that violence is a learned behavior that can be prevented using disease control methods. Safe Streets works to strengthen the community and provide opportunities for at-risk youth. Gardnel Carter, Violence Interrupters Coordinator, accepted the award on behalf of the organization, “We believe that every life is worth saving and every human being has the potential to change with the opportunity presented to them, regardless of what circumstances and violence they come out of”.
The runner up was also recognized at the event, Sisters Together and Reaching, a partnership with The Moore Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Henrietta Lacks was an East Baltimore resident and cervical cancer patient in the early 1950s at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where cells taken from her tumor became the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture and led to breakthroughs in cell research related to cancer, AIDS, the effects of radiation and more. The Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award honors Mrs. Lacks and her family and is intended to be an enduring reminder of her contribution to medical science and to her community.
To watch Safe Streets' Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award video, click here