We produced a series of three videos about innovative community-government partnerships that are building and sharing power for health equity.
Power is increasingly understood as a central root cause of health equity, and governmental public health is beginning to embrace their role in shifting power to communities facing inequities. These videos were created to inspire government agencies to embrace accountable partnerships with community-based organizations and community residents as a core element of their health equity work. Each video highlights challenges and lessons learned from collaboration, and is a call to action for approaching health equity from a power building framework:
The Home Team: A Partnership between Washington Department of Public Health WIC and Byrd Barr Place to engage Black birthing families in program design
Designed in the 1970s, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program has a long-standing history of relying on a one-size-fits-all model that does not meet the full needs of its participants, especially Black birthing people. To address this, the Washington State WIC office and Byrd Barr Place partnered to pilot a community advisory group, called The Home Team, to share feedback on their experiences in WIC and discuss opportunities to improve the program. This collaboration allowed for community members most impacted by health inequities to have an active role in shaping the solution.
Transformative Climate Communities for All: A partnership between Strategic Growth Council and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability to expand access to state climate funding for unincorporated communities
Rural, working class, unincorporated communities — referred to as Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (DUCs) — have faced a long history of disinvestment and today experience stark inequities in climate, economic, and health impacts for people of color in particular. In California, many DUCs like Eastern Coachella Valley, Fresno, Matheny Tract, etc. have limited access to funding to support community infrastructure and development. The organizing, advocacy and collaborative partnership between Leadership Council on Justice and Accountability (LCJA) and the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) worked to expand the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program eligibility to Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities in California. The TCC Program invests in development and infrastructure projects that ‘achieve environmental, health, economic benefits in California’s most disadvantaged communities’.
K’yawak’a hon’ A:ho’i/ Water is Life: A Water Conservation Partnership between Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, Zuni Public School District, and Zuni Utility Department
In the midst of a 20-year drought, the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project worked with the Zuni Utility Department to implement a residential rebate program for harvesting rainwater that can be used for home gardens and other domestic activities. The program supported water conservation and food sovereignty efforts on the pueblo, which is experiencing drought and hunger emergencies exacerbated by COVID‐related closures and shutdowns. The Zuni Public School District is now working on a project that will expand their existing rain harvest program for school‐based agriculture production, with the longer term goal of becoming a water hub: an accessible, central place for community members to receive reclaimed water.
This project is supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The views expressed are those of the storyteller(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Health Impact Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.