Communities are stronger together.
Northwest Health Foundation will support Community Collaboratives that are working together to advocate for their children's health.
Northwest Health Foundation values the resiliency of communities, their ability to recover and persevere even while confronting health adversity. We know that strong community connections, friends and family are essential for resiliency, navigating life's challenges and prospering.
So is a place at the decision-making table.
Communities need the power and resources to sit at that table, to help dispel beliefs and practices that do not produce results, and to help shape those that do. From local school boards to the state legislature, parents and families should have a voice. When communities are able to invest in developing leadership and advocacy skills, they can make a bigger and longer lasting impact.
What We're Doing
First, we organized.
At the beginning of 2015, we awarded organizing grants to 25 communities that self-identified by geography, shared identity/experience or both. Throughout the year, communities used their organizing grants to build and strengthen working relationships between leaders and organizations; involve community members in developing priorities; strengthen infrastructure necessary for effective collaboration; and spend time one-on-one or in groups to build common understanding between stakeholders. We also built relationships and learned key concepts at two partner gatherings in March and May.
Now, we're collaborating.
Each of the 25 organizing grant communities had the opportunity to apply for a five-year partnership. We selected ten of those communities to join the Communities Collaborate Cohort in 2016.
During each grant year, the Community Collaboratives will convene for gatherings to build relationships; learn essential concepts about childhood and health, policy and advocacy; develop leadership skills; and decide how they want to work together on a shared advocacy agenda. Between gatherings, Collaboratives will continue to build relationships with each other and within their communities, learn, and engage in advocacy efforts toward healthier kids and communities.
By 2020, we will:
- Improve childhood health through community engagement and collaborative action.
- Strengthen a movement. Build strong alliances and practical skills to work across differences and multicultural communities to achieve common goals.
- Lead. Strengthen and connect leaders to build power and resources for improving health.
- Make it important. Work to make these community experiences important for institutions, elected officials and stakeholders.
- Tell our stories. Share the visions and experiences of resilient communities confronting health inequities.