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Men’s Health Project (MHP), a program of the Know Agenda Foundation, began in 2006 as program partnership between Oregon’s Multnomah County’s Healthy Birth Initiative (HBI) – a program within the Children and Family Health Services Division of the Multnomah County’s Department of Health - and the (now defunct) Center for Healthy Inclusive Parenting (CHIP) at Portland State University (PSU). The partnership sprung from a grass-roots effort by African Americans throughout the Portland metropolitan area who had participated in the HBI –PSU Young Men’s Health Partnership.

That partnership evolved into a community movement concerned with the health and social equity of men – both African American and other under-served – in being engaged with: (1) their own, individual health; (2) the health of their families; and (3) the Public Health and Social Determinants of Health that impact community well-being. Men’s Health Project has initiated the following major initiatives since its inception:

  • Community Education on health disparities, blood pressure screening, healthful eating and health career options. In 2007, the MHP initiated a monthly men’s health forum which provided men with opportunities to engage with other men on personal health topics and social issues that impact health. Based on its work with teenagers, the MHP also began a peer blood pressure screening project.

  • Health Fairs. In 2009, the MHP held what it believes was the first local health fair dedicated to the health of African American men; it has held two additional fairs.

  • Colorectal Cancer Messengers Project. In 2012, the MHP’s Colorectal Cancer Messengers project activated community members as advocates for colon screening.

  • Communities of Color Stand Up Project. This project involved outreach to three ethnic communities to reduce underage and irresponsible drinking, and to help people connect with community efforts and advocates in this area.

  • Our Health Alliance Website. MHP created a culturally- specific health website, Our Health Alliance, which provides health information on a range of topics and pointers to local, culturally-specific resources.

  • Healthy Communities Implementation Colorectal Cancer Project. From July 1, 2016 until June 30, 2017, Men’s Health Project partnered with the Multnomah County Department’s Equity, Planning, and Strategy, Public Health Division analyzing factors that impact colorectal cancer screening differences between White communities and African-American communities, and White communities and Latino/Hispanic communities (in partnership with the community-based organization Familias en Accion). The report on the Project can be downloaded here.

  • Health Presentations & Dialogues with Manufacturing Business Workers. MHP has provided health discussion presentations and dialogues for men as a part of existing health programs within certain companies throughout the Portland metropolitan area. The dialogues and presentations have focused on blood pressure, eating healthy, stress, and depression.

  • Collaborative for Community Social Determinants of Health (CCSDH). This is a three- organization collaborative that includes the Men’s Health Project, Coalition of Black Men (Health and Wellness Committee) and Ta Nefer Ankh (the sister nonprofit to Shellmire Unlimited P.C.). The partnership seeks to address issues regarding the intersectionality of the physical, intellectual, emotional and social determinants of health, mentoring, and environmental place-making for positive outcomes for under-served men of all backgrounds in the Portland metropolitan area. Programming includes: (1) Bike & Bite – An annual bicycle tour in August of parts of Portland with a discussion at the intersection of gentrification and community development; (2) Health Messages Newsletter - This messaging tool focuses on a different health topic (e.g. blood pressure checks, colorectal cancer screenings, health equity information, exercise, health eating) to members of the Portland community through the Coalition of Black Men and Ta Nefer Ankh networks, as well as the Know Agenda Foundation’s Men’s Health Project e-mail list-serv, which presently has approximately 1,000 recipients. (Quarterly, 4 Newsletters per year); (4) What Black Men Think Dialogues – Four quarterly movie/dialogue sessions where: (1) A societally relevant film that addresses the social determinants of health is screened; and (2) After the screening, a facilitated discussion (by two CCSDH organization representatives) takes place that includes the themes of the social determinants of health, community and economic development, and identity.

​MHP activities are free; volunteer efforts from community members and organizations, and occasional grant funding assist in covering the costs of community organizing efforts and materials.

If you would like to learn more about Men’s Health Project’s events, or receive information about Social Determinants of Health generally, to be added to the Men’s Health Project e-mail list please e-mail:

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