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Seeds of HOPE

Funding Dates



The purpose of Seeds of HOPE (Health, Opportunities, Partnerships, Empowerment) was to implement and evaluate the dissemination of HOPE Works, an innovative weight management and economic development program designed for low-income women in rural eastern North Carolina. The conceptual framework for HOPE Works, based on the CDC’s Guide to Community Health, recognized the complex and multi-factorial context of social, environmental, and economic factors that influence health issues such as obesity. Women participating in the intervention met in small peer groups, called “Circles,” for at least six months to discuss important issues and engage in physical activity together. In this case, the health goals of healthy eating, physical activity, and weight management were addressed in combination with the participants’ “hope” goals, such as furthering education, job skills training, financial literacy, and starting businesses. The circle concept also built on the American Indian tradition of Talking Circles, still used by many tribes to encourage “speaking and listening from the heart.”

Research Areas

Cardiovascular Health, Obesity, & Diabetes
Health Equity
Rural Health
Additional Topics

Primary Investigator

Lori Carter-Edwards, PhD


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


HOPE Works: A community-based obesity intervention addressing social determinants as underlying factors

Seeds of HOPE: A Model for Addressing Social and Economic Determinants of Health in a Women’s Obesity Prevention Project in Two Rural Communities