This week began with two opportunities to collectively pause and reflect on equity: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the National Day of Racial Healing. During a time of intensifying social and economic inequality, the gap between thriving communities and vulnerable communities widens every day. That’s why a focus on health equity is one of our Essential Practices and an urgent north star in our work.
A health equity focus acknowledges that health inequities are avoidable, unjust, and that they must be a priority for community change strategies. When we create impact where it is most needed, respecting and honoring the voices of people who face the starkest health disparities and whose stories too often go unheard, we are taking action to accelerate equity. But progress doesn’t happen by addressing external challenges alone.
Active Living By Design is no exception. In that spirit, we’re having intentional conversations to check our assumptions, refine how we measure our impact, and create structures to hold ourselves accountable. We also updated our mission and vision in early 2017 to better reflect our values and how our work has evolved over the years. We envision a nation of healthy, equitable communities where everyone reaches their full potential. This vision is grounded in a broader understanding of health and the recognition that community-led action and proven, place-based strategies will help us achieve it.
And there is more to come: we’re excited to share a sneak peek at what’s ahead.
In recognition of the nimble nature of this work, we are developing a concise, transparent, and flexible framework that keeps equity at the forefront, describes our guiding principles, and refines four focus areas of our work. We look forward to connecting with partners around our common goals and will invite you to ask us questions and challenge our thinking.
With the insightful support of trusted partners and our advisory board, we are identifying a new name that bridges more than 15 years of our history to how we see healthy communities work shifting in the future. We will share more details in the coming months, so stay tuned!
To make sure you don’t miss a thing, sign up for our monthly newsletter if you haven’t already. And keep others in the loop by sharing it with those who are interested in advancing community-led action for health and well-being.