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Tag Archives: Community / Youth Engagement

To Reduce Impact of Natural Disasters, Strengthen Social Ties

By Risa Wilkerson on September 20th, 2017

Layered deeply in the process of healthy community work, so integral they can be overlooked, are two key factors that impact our ability to survive and thrive: trusting relationships and connections to neighbors. The floods, fires, and earthquakes during the last couple of weeks are vivid reminders of how vulnerable community health can be. The […]

The Unexpected Way Organizations Exploit Vulnerable People

By Tim Schwantes on July 20th, 2017

Imagine this scenario: you’re part of a group of summer interns working on healthy community projects, each with a specific focus that requires a deep understanding of the local context and engagement from residents. You’re excited to start talking to residents, and you know the assignment aligns with your interests. However, early in your project, […]

Partnerships Focus on Social Determinants of Health and Help Build a New Social Contract

By Rich Bell on June 28th, 2017

Of the many wicked problems in communities, institutions, and government, virtually all of them are rooted in histories of broken connections, damaged trust and eroded respect that have driven increases in inequality in the first place. To ensure health and well-being for everyone, we need ways to address these problems and build more social and […]

Culture Change Happens Up Close

By Rich Bell on March 29th, 2017

I spend a lot of my time trying to convince foundations and coalitions that authentic community engagement is the best way to work toward health equity. I mean the kind of community engagement that includes residents who are facing an issue in the decision making about how to address that issue. The kind that recognizes […]

How Changing Your Writing Style Can Improve Community Engagement

By Sarah Moore on March 8th, 2017

I once knew a guy who couldn’t smell. Anything. At all. And because scent is invisible, his inability to detect it was also invisible. So despite the fact that his cologne could overpower an entire room, I often forgot his perspective. I created countless awkward moments by suggesting that he smell food, flowers, or crayons. […]

Seeing a System of Health Equity Through Community Engagement

By Geni Eng on June 22nd, 2016

When explaining the power of community engagement to reveal and address the invisible causes of health inequities, I draw on my Chinese-American culture and use the metaphor of a bowl. We use the bowl to eat and drink as well as to scoop things. On our wedding day, we use the bowl to offer respect […]

These Two Pastors Became Believers—In Young People

By Rich Bell and Sarah Moore on May 25th, 2016

The Reverends Richard Joyner and Jeffrey Brown reached turning points in their careers when they realized that the early, preventable deaths in their communities—due primarily to poor nutrition or violent crime—were problems they could help solve. Through their authentic approach to community engagement, specifically with youth, both have created positive change that many in their […]

Authentic Community Engagement Requires Vulnerability

By Tim Schwantes on May 18th, 2016

When was the last time you were disarmed and uncomfortable in a professional setting, and stayed in that place longer than usual for the greater good? In order to create healthy community change, community engagement is vital and can sometimes create such discomfort. One of Active Living By Design’s six Essential Practices, community engagement is […]

Finding Common Ground with Human-Centered Design

By Phil Bors on April 8th, 2016

Last week, I spent an afternoon with a group of new friends reimagining Rockaway Avenue in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. We listened as a community health advocate explained how local youth run a weekly market stand on the sidewalk across from a Popeyes Chicken restaurant. And we learned about P.S. 125, a […]

A Fresh Model for Community-Driven Change

By Risa Wilkerson on March 23rd, 2016

Active Living By Design is about to launch a fresh model for community-driven change to reflect the evolution of our field’s growth. It reminds me of how far we’ve come. Early in my career, I was talked into wearing a Minnie Mouse costume at a health fair hosted by the local health department. My small […]