SOPHE selected as a Safe States Equity-Focused Seed Grant Awardee

Washington, DC – The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) is proud to announce its selection for the Safe States Equity-Focused Seed Grant Program. Safe States awarded three seed grants to operationalize and integrate equitable approaches to advance one or more of the needs identified during the Injury and Violence Prevention Network (IVPN) special convening in 2021.

SOPHE’s grant project will focus on building healthy relationships and preventing sexual violence among young adult women of color in Washington, D.C., a high-risk urban area.

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network reports that young people, (18-34 years of age), account for 54% of all incidents of sexual violence, and women not enrolled in college are four times as likely than the general population to experience sexual violence.

With only 44.5% of American women aged 18-24 enrolled in a college or university, over half of the women aged 18-24 will not receive any sexual violence prevention education beyond what was, or was not, offered in their primary and secondary education.

This highlights the need for more equitable access to sexual violence prevention programming. SOPHE is working to develop an intervention for sexual violence and healthy relationship building in the Washington, D.C. area.

Utilizing the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Framework, SOPHE will host an in-person training where young women aged 18-24 can explore what makes a healthy relationship, what is sexual violence and how to identify it, bystander interventions and helping those in need, and an overview of resources in the community.

“This is a transformative project for young women in the DC area,” says William Potts-Datema, DrPH, MS, MCHES, SOPHE’s Interim CEO. “SOPHE is committed to promoting and advocating for diversity and health equity. We expect this project will fill a gap in health education and provide an opportunity for young women of color to feel empowered and safe as we collectively build up the future of our DC community.”

SOPHE is currently planning the in-person educational event for April 2023.

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For more information or specific questions, please contact Ozioma Ikejiani at