Kent County has learned firsthand the value and importance of community coalitions to reduce public health issues like substance abuse and misuse. The Kent County Prevention Coalition (KCPC), with the assistance of its coordinating agency network180, has brought together 25 member organizations who represent 12 core sectors – youth under the age of 18, parents, businesses, media, schools/universities, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, religious/fraternal organizations, civic/volunteer organizations, healthcare, and government. This village-like framework has changed community conditions, norms, systems and policies in landmark ways. Kent County knows PREVENTION WORKS!
- The KCPC’s greatest work to-date has been the mobilization of hundreds of community youth in the creation of a local movie, Above the Influence-Kent County, which celebrates the choices Kent County youth make daily to live above the negative influences around them. Through the advancement of the Above the Influence-Kent County movement, the coalition creates spaces for even the most vulnerable to use their voice to make a difference.
- The KCPC is a graduate of the two-year National Coalition Academy sponsored by the CADCA and a charter graduate of the CADCA Ambassador program.
- The KCPC was presented with the ‘Coalition of the Year Award’ by Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Alcohol Use, making KCPC the first coalition to ever receive such distinction.
- In 2010, the KCPC was awarded a five-year grant totaling $625,000 from the White House’s Drug Free Community Program. (In addition to managing the grant, network180 provides the coalition with staff, time and additional grant support.)