September 08 2010

September 8, 2010

Jackeline Stewart
(202) 785-1670

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards grants to five national groups to address social justice issues driving the obesity epidemic

Washington, DC—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, has joined four other civil rights organizations in an effort to reverse childhood obesity in Black and Latino communities, where the epidemic continues to hit hardest. The $2 million initiative is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in recognition of the groups’ experience and success in building awareness of important national policies.

Over the next 16 months, the organizations will work both individually and collaboratively to advance the public advocacy and policy changes that are critical to creating healthier communities. The initiative seeks to tap into their work to solve systemic issues of racial and social injustice, which underlie many neighborhoods’ limited access to affordable, nutritious food or safe places for children to be physically active.

During this effort, NCLR will increase awareness of the Latino perspective in the child nutrition conversation, continuing to build knowledge among all nutrition stakeholders through policy analysis and communications efforts. As part of its efforts to improve the nutritional state of Latino children, NCLR recently launched Profiles of Latino Health: A Closer Look at Latino Child Nutrition. The third issue in this series examines food spending in Latino households and Latinos’ ability to afford healthy, nutritious foods.

When two-fifths of Latino children are suffering from childhood overweight and obesity, it is not just a food problem—it is an issue that threatens the very future of this community and our country,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “As a nation, we must address the deep-rooted social and environmental factors that have left Latino children and families with a limited ability to access healthy, affordable foods and take charge of their own health and well-being.”/p>

The organizations involved in the initiative include the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), and National Urban League (NUL).


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more information, visit

About NCLR
The National Council of La Raza—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations, NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

Issues: Health and Nutrition