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Scientifically Tested Programs That Meet Rigid Criteria

Program Effectiveness

Evidence Driven

Evidence-Driven and Evidence-Based

The Winners Sankofa Intervention is evidence-driven and is a community-driven evidence-based (CDE) program. Evidence-based refers to scientifically tested programs that meet rigid criteria to achieve the scientifically tested label. Generally speaking, evidence-based programs:


  • Are based on a clearly articulated and empirically-supported theory

  • Have a detailed description of the intervention and measurement design--what outcomes were produced in what populations with what intervention

  • Have measurable outcomes that have been assessed with psychometrically strong measures, including long-term follow-ups, where indicated

  • Have been tested in a scientifically-sound way with comparison conditions, optimally through randomized controlled studies.


The Winners Sankofa Intervention is evidence-driven. The theories which form the basis of the intervention are grounded in research and the findings of investigators examining the relationship between racial identity and substance use and school performance. 


  • Minority adolescents and young adults who have high levels of racial identity appear to be able to resist or delay substance use initiation, have more negative attitudes toward substances, and are more likely to perceive substance use as being non-normative among their racial group than are youths who have low levels of racial identity (Belgrave, Brome, & Hampton, 2000; Corneille & Belgrave, 2007; Pugh & Bry, 2007).  

  • Racial identity has been cited as a factor that protects against substance use (e.g., Brook, Balka, Brook, Win, & Gursen, 1998).

  • Black youth who felt more positive about their racial group reported less alcohol use, especially among those for whom race was more central to their identity (Caldwell, Sellers, Bernat, & Zimmerman, 2004).  


Community Defined Evidence (CDE) practices are program models, interventions, curriculum and evaluation designs that are developed to meet the needs of, and are based on the values and experiences of, the targeted community or cultural group. The Winners Sankofa Program was independently reviewed by the California Institute for Mental Health (CIMH) in 2010 and was selected as a Community Defined Evidence (CDE) model.

Evidence of

Program Effectiveness

A program evaluation and analysis of program data collected from 2008 to 2018 examined the impact of an ATOD prevention program for 1,255 African American and Latino youth in Central Los Angeles that promoted cultural assets while improving attitude towards school and alcohol and drug awareness. Results showed that participants in Winners had: significantly higher racial identity, self-esteem, and cultural values; significantly better attitudes towards school; and significantly higher ATOD awareness than similar youth in a comparison group. All results were at the .05 and .01 level of significance when compared to results from our comparison group. 


The program utilizes a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design to measure the extent of change as a result of the Winners Sankofa intervention. Intact 4th, 5th, 6th 7th and 8th grade classrooms participate in the program as experimental or comparison groups from 2008 to 2018; program participants were not randomized. Experimental group youth received 30-35 workshops per year while the youth in the comparison groups received no workshops.




Four evaluation instruments were used to assess outcomes related to participants’ racial identity, cultural values, attitudes towards school and ATOD awareness:  

  1. Africentric (Cultural) Values Scale,

  2. Children’s Racial Identity Scale,

  3. the ATOD Awareness Scale,

  4. the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and

  5. the School Sentiment Index.


Assessments are administered during the first weeks of the school semester and during the last month of the school semester.


Africentric (Cultural) Value Scale for Children

Developed by Belgrave (1993), the Africentric Value Scale for Children (AVSC) consists of 19 questions that address how African-American children internalize themselves and their community.  It should be noted that questions containing the words, “African American and Black” in the original scale were replaced with “Latino and Brown” for use with Latino participants.

Progam Efffectiveness

Children’s Racial Identity Scale

Also developed by Belgrave (1993), the Children’s Racial Identity Scale focuses on how the respondent feels about being African American and about African Americans in general.  The scale, similar to the AVS, was modified for use by Latino participants.


School Sentiment Index

The School Sentiment Index (SSI) consists of statements regarding various aspects of school and attitudes towards education and learning. 


ATOD Awareness Scale

The ATOD scale measures the impact of the ATOD Prevention and Educational workshops on the attitudes, opinions and behaviors of program participants. 


Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, a widely used self-report instrument for evaluating individual self-esteem.

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