Annual Report 2019

Executive Letter

Embracing a culture of learning is an essential practice for change makers and for our team.

We believe our external impact depends upon our willingness to check our internal assumptions, biases, and patterns, and to stay curious and open to new perspectives. In 2019, we leaned into our growing edge, building upon the deep reflections and strategic changes we made in 2018.

Early in 2019, we completed a Compassionate Integrity Training with faculty from Life University’s Center for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics. The course is based in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, trauma-informed care, and peace and conflict studies. Through this training, we practiced techniques to increase compassion for ourselves and others. We also explored how to extend those techniques to create compassionate and equitable systems.

Throughout the year, we continued to implement recommendations from the 2018 internal equity assessment that we partnered with We-Collab to conduct. We analyzed internal practices and informal norms that reflect white dominant culture, and our team discussed how to change them, both individually and as an organization, so that we are more inclusive. To help us with those efforts, we practiced conversational tools that help us avoid group think and maintain psychological safety.

We also recognized the need to be an innovative organization in order to adapt to the changing needs of communities and our field. Our team embarked on a series of internal workshops to explore the relationship between innovation and creativity, what creativity really is, why innovation matters to our work, how to tap into our individual, innate creativity, and how to develop an organizational culture of innovation. This internal work is a journey toward deepening our external impact in collaboration with our funding partners and community leaders.

Throughout this report, you’ll see examples of how we have advanced equity, accelerated action, and enhanced collaboration while supporting diverse project structures, sizes, and types— all of which reflect the trusted relationships we’ve built over time. We thank all of our partners for fully linking arms with us. Now more than ever, as I write this letter during an unprecedented pandemic and economic recession/crisis, we are grateful to be in community with you as we collaborate with compassion, creativity, and a deep dedication to achieve equitable, healthy communities for all, together.

Risa Wilkerson
Executive Director

Places We Served in 2019

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Project Highlights: Advancing Equity

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Project Highlights: Accelerating Action

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Project Highlights: Enhancing Collaboration

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Key Services in 2018

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Thank You!

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We couldn't do it without you.

Thank you to our clients and partners for helping us advance community-led action and proven, place-based strategies that ensure health and wellbeing for all. Your partnership with our team will have lasting impacts in communities across the country.

Thanks also to our Advisory Board members and external advisors, who provide valuable insights and ask our team important questions. We are a more effective organization because of your insights.

And, most importantly, thank you to all the local leaders who work every day to make your communities healthier places to live.