The Alliance for Health Equity has received a $100,000 grant from the Philadelphia Foundation’s donor-advised funds. The Philadelphia Foundation has a century-long history of connecting community-minded individuals with the people and organizations that are helping to build positive outcomes in the Greater Philadelphia community. This grant is in support of one of the priorities – To Lead Positive Community-Driven Change – of AHE’s 2020-2022 strategic plan.
“We are grateful to Philadelphia Foundation and their donors,” said AHE President Vanessa B. Briggs. “Their generosity and passion for community-focused work allows us to substantially effect real change, by focusing first on the ideas, opinions, and concerns of the community to assure that their voices are at the forefront of plans to advance a more equitable, resilient, and healthy Greater Coatesville.” The Alliance for Health Equity has always understood the necessity of community input in determining strategic direction and believes that those who have systematically denied community voice now stand at a societal crossroad. They must choose to either take the path of inclusion or continue to follow an exclusionary path that institutionally and structurally supports racial injustice and inequality. AHE is committed to and will always support inclusion and community voice. Funding from the Philadelphia Foundation will help support the following three activities:
Engaging Community with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Trainings
The Alliance for Health Equity will continue with its highly successful community engagement forum, “Let’s Talk,” in which safe spaces are created that support compassionate listening and better understanding of racial inequities and its impact on community health. Community voice will incorporate “Let’s Talk: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” training, which will focus on racial inequalities, personal acknowledgment, historical injustices, and healing and reconciliation. AHE will engage a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Trainer to facilitate, encourage, and support community engagement and authentic conversations among its board, staff, and community at large.
Creating Communication Tools Through Community Stories
Storytelling is critical in elevating community voice. Grant funds will be used to develop and support a Community Voice Compendium that will capture community stories as told by community residents, as well as faith and local municipal leaders. A Communication Consultant will work with AHE to record and showcase lived experiences and perceptions to increase learning across power and racial dynamics that will ultimately lead to better understanding and equity in the Greater Coatesville community.
Building a Community Advocacy Infrastructure
To add voice in the decisions to improve living conditions in the Greater Coatesville community, AHE will build a cadre of community advocates made up of diverse community members and residents, who will work alongside AHE staff members, board, and others. Community Advocates will understand the power of advocacy, the legislative process, and build partnerships to advance policies and systems that improve community health.
“Ultimately, the Community Voice strategy will address the erosion of equality,” said Briggs. “When foundations, donors, government, and institutions align direct investments to address community conditions that lead to poor health, the impact is positive for both the health and financial stability of all community members and the county as a whole.”
The Philadelphia Foundation has a century-long history of connecting community-minded individuals with the people and organizations that are helping to build a Greater Philadelphia Region.
Written By: Mark Hostutler at Vista Today