Community Engagement and Outreach Core (ECHO)

The CHARM Community Engagement and Outreach Core named “Engaging Community for Health Outreach (ECHO)” supports CHARM investigators and trainees to productively engage with and disseminate information to the target populations and their stakeholders, directly engages and empowers minority youth and young adults in the SF Bay Area to improve their health literacy via social action and enhanced dissemination, together this core fosters policy and practice change to reduce chronic disease risk and disparities.


The ECHO core focuses on:

  • Developing bidirectional communication channels between CHARM investigators and minority youths and young adults

    • Youth Speaks - CHARM Health Literacy Partnership - will develop a youth target chronic prevention campaign using youth generated "spoken word" messages around key chronic disease prevention targets.  These messages, and an associated tool kit, will be broadly disseminated throughout the SF Bay Area.

    • Youth Radio - CHARM Media Collaborative - will expand the scope of Youth Radio's health communication initiative to include chronic disease risk and risk reduction.  This inititative will train youth media health advocates on the problem of early onset of chronic illness and chronic disparities in youth, and will prepare them to engage with their peers.

  • Applying community-based participatory research methods and approaches to two CHARM research projects to ensure that stakeholders perspectives and insights are integrated into the research activities.

    • STAR-MAMA project - ECHO will help to adapt a multilingual, health IT intervention to Latina low-income women with gestational diabetes and promote its evaluation and dissemination.

    • Youth Tobacco project - ECHO will help to inform the research design, and the targeting and refinement of the intervention with input from youth thought leaders.

  • Serve as a resource, catalyst, and vehicle whereby CHARM research efforts and minority youth and young adults’ perspectives can be integrated and more effectively disseminated to policy audiences, to accelerate local and state-wide chronic disease policy and practice change.

The ECHO Core is led by Dr. Dean Schillinger, Professor in Residence at UCSF Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital.



Dr. Dean Schillinger the Principle Investigator of The Bigger Picture Campaign and poets who have contributed to The Bigger Picture public service announcements  talk about their inspiration for educating young people on the social determinants of diabetes.

Jade Cho leads the Bigger Picture Poets in a collective pledge of commitment to ending this epidemic and challenging the systems and institutions that support its growth and spread.

Erica Shepperd’s, emotionally gripping poem, “Death Recipe,” begins with the refrain, “We eat like we’re still slaves.” Erica then describes the nutritional content of widely available junk foods in her neighborhood environment and her home, her ambivalence toward her young body and the functional limitations she now has as a result of her weight, her “addiction” to these sugary foods, and the connections between emotional and social trauma, corporate greed, and unhealthy eating. The poem culminates in a haunting catalogue of the clustering of early onset Type 2 diabetes in her family, and the resulting morbidity and mortality, ending with the final words, “…it’s like suicide.”

Joshua Merchant explores the Social and Economic factors that contribute to the Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic in low income communities of color. Caution: This video contains images of violence.

Jose Vadi explores how dependent we all are on our feet and asks the question what would we do if we lost all or part of one? Caution: This video contains very strong images.

Robin Black discusses the way in which people are farmed by being fed industrialized food.This punishing monologue provides insight into the relationship between the food industry and sickness.

Jose Vadi illustrates the choice people make and questions whether or not we are actually making a choice or whether choices about what to eat are made for us by forces beyond our control.

Simone Bridges (MC Nina Seraphina) uses rap to illustrate the metaphorical connection between the Food Industry, High Sugar foods and the pedaling of street narcotics.

Joshua Merchant tells a personal story about his fathers relationship to Type 2 Diabetes, and its impact on family, and his own future.

Robin Black and the Bigger Picture Poets mock the food Industries use of deceptive marketing to trick people, especially youth, into eating unhealthy foods.