The Plaza Roberto Maestas Affordable Housing development project highlights an integrated approach to housing, land use, environmental planning, public transportation, community infrastructure, and aligned workforce opportunities. The project consists of 112 apartments in two buildings for low-income residents, a 7-classroom expansion of El Centro’s award-winning José Martí Child Development Center, a new community cultural center, office space and neighborhood retail/restaurant space. Anchoring the project is a 10,000 square foot central plaza for residents and the greater Beacon Hill community to enjoy that celebrates Latino history.
Food as Medicine – Partnering to Improve Food Security and Health Outcomes among Vulnerable Populations
A county without poverty – thriving, resilient, and prosperous communities for ALL. This is what ALL IN envisions in its efforts to eradicate poverty in Alameda County, California. Through collaboration across a variety of partnerships and innovation, ALL IN seeks to ensure that all families are able to:
– Meet their basic needs for food, shelter, healthcare, and safety
– Earn an income that allows for self-sufficiency and asset building
– Obtain a quality education that positions the next generation for academic and economic success
Since 2014, ALL IN has launched strategies addressing school readiness and food security (food recovery and food as medicine), zeroing in on implementing these strategies at the neighborhood level to ensure that they are reflective and responsive of the community’s needs.
The Metropolitan Action Commission is partnering with families to achieve their goals of getting out of poverty through a Two-Generation/Whole Family approach. MAC’s initiative provides short-term and high-yield job trainings aimed to help Head Start/ Early Head Start parents move toward attaining living-wage jobs. This type of opportunity creates a pathway out of poverty for many families. The results are also correlated to child outcomes for those children whose parents participate in our 2 GEN initiatives.
Dr. Cynthia Croom, Executive Director of Metro Action, presents the results of MAC’s three-year 2Gen/Whole Family pilot, which includes participant and stakeholder experiences and outcomes as well as lessons learned by the agency. In addition to the presentation, three Head Start/Early Head Start parents from the last cohort, who are currently working in full-time internship positions, and leaders from two of the partnering agencies discuss their experiences.
Abby Hanks of the Virginia State Office on Volunteerism and Community Services and Lil Dupree of the Partnership speak about AmeriCorps VISTA, its long history with Community Action, and how to get started using this incredible resource.
Robin Phillips, Executive Director of the National Rural Transit Assistance Program shares her extensive experience in designing, developing, and maintaining rural transportation systems. While highlighting successful programs, including Community Action programs, we look at the critical components of comprehensive planning and funding development.
The webinar discusses how Community Action can leverage solar energy to maximize impact in rural communities.
This webinar features Dr. Dense Shervington who illustrates the effects of structural oppression, societal disfranchisement on communities of color and discusses the importance of trauma-informed care for this population, providing insight on how community-based organizations can work to help create steps and opportunity for healing on the individual, family, and community level.
In this webinar three Community Action leaders share their successful models for helping returning citizens integrate back into communities. The discussion will highlight integrative models, utilizing community partners and successful approaches as best practices.
Nurses have the ability to address social determinants of health in patients and refer those with health barriers to resources. Doing so can have a long-term impact on patient health.
As community activists resist racial injustice, food insecurity, and infrastructural delinquency, many groups are attempting to articulate the voice of the citizen. It is within this landscape that architects have historically struggled to find common ground to afford democratic access for citizens to engage in discussions about the future of their city. Based upon surrogate models of other professions, there has emerged a proactive movement towards Social Impact Design. Like many urban core areas, our community faces a health epidemic compounded by poverty. In response to requests for collaboration, and through cross-disciplinary academic partnerships in both public health and social welfare, we have begun to leverage design advocacy to improve health outcomes. This has evolved into an alternative model of practice that advances public design through interdisciplinary, adaptive and incremental spatial agency. It is a sustainable practice that fosters conversations and supports events originating from within the community. Our approach seeks to scaffold an infrastructure of public health through methods of participatory design and advocacy. Through new forms of design intelligence and collaborative design tools, our critical spatial practice demonstrates new ways for how architectural design can be relevant to society.
With my experience entrenched in the built environment, I came to Greater Good Studio (GGS) curious to learn more about human-centered design (HCD). During my time here, I have really been pushed to reconsider what it means to place the user’s experience at the center of a design process, particularly in the context of built environment design and community development.
Data-driven and evidence-based practices present new opportunities for public and social sector leaders to increase impact while reducing inefficiency. But in adopting such approaches, leaders must avoid the temptation to act in a top-down manner. Instead, they should design and implement programs in ways that engage community members directly in the work of social change.
We cannot expect those who control the system to make the changes that will impact people with lived experience. Even those organizations with the most genuine intentions can contribute negatively and unknowingly to conditions that oppress those who are marginalized. It is nearly impossible to manufacture solutions to solve problems when one is incapable of understanding the entirety of one’s conditions. It is only through a process of authentic community engagement where individuals with lived experience can be included the discussion as decision makers and drivers of those solutions.
Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness.
Equity as defined above requires us to examine and dismantle the “barriers” that prevent the full participation of certain groups. In order to dismantle the barriers, we must understand the institutional, historical and structural causes of inequities. Additionally, the different factors that equate to a person’s multiple identities -relating not only to gender, but also to race, ability, age, education, sexuality, class, ethnicity, religion and more — can impact one’s experience of discrimination. These various identities and factors intersect and intertwine, which means gender equity cannot be achieved without all forms of equity. This is what Kimberle Crenshaw meant when she coined the term, “intersectionality,” specifically in regard to the experiences of black women. And we can never achieve gender equity if we do not create more equitable systems and policies.
Sara Aye speaks to DSI students as part of the Fall 2018 Global Guest Lecture Series.
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