All In for Co-creating Inclusive Spaces

As a national initiative, Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) supports hundreds of multi-sector collaborations in advancing health equity in their own communities. While not leading the day-to-day work at the local level, we continue to support our partners in identifying ways in which to meaningfully engage impacted community members.

In our own efforts at DASH to center community voice and expertise — and to make these types of partnerships more visible — we’ve invited community members with the lived and living experiences of poverty and related, social determinants of health to advise us, as we plan for our upcoming All In: Data for Community Health National Meeting (AINM). Our signature event, the AINM is co-created with a set of national partners and attracts 350 attendees in-person and nearly 500 virtually.

In 2018, we were inspired by the work of the Camden Coalition’s National Center Scholars, which engaged community members with complex health and social needs as advisors to the Center’s National conference. Subsequently, in 2019, we updated our call for proposals process, explicitly encouraging submissions to intentionally include community members as co-presenters.

During the 2020 AINM, we featured Diane Sullivan, a policy strategist with lived experience  from Massachusetts, as a keynote speaker. Her presentation, Lived Experience is Expertise: How Engaging Community Members Builds Better Collaboratives, reminded us that if advancing transformational policy change is the goal, we must center our work by first learning from the perspectives of community members around how data gathering and sharing often creates and perpetuates harm.

For this year’s AINM, demonstrating the on-going evolution of our internal efforts to honor and value community perspective and knowledge, we’ve invited Diane and her colleague, Jimmieka Mills from Texas, to engage us as strategy consultants in the planning process. Together, we seek to co-create a space where all community members with lived and living experiences feel a true sense of belonging.

“After meeting and building a relationship with Diane, she shared some insights on how we might make the AINM a more inclusive space,” said Miriam Castro, Program Manager with DASH and All In. “We knew we had to bring in community members earlier in the planning process. So, we connected with Diane in the Spring of 2021, who soon introduced us to Jimmieka.”

Rather than approach this work with set, rigid agendas, we built out a list of ideas for our collective vision. We co-created scopes of work-related activities, including language and other adaptations to our registration and RFP selection process, where Diane and Jimmieka joined other community members on the proposal review team.

“When I was reviewing proposals, I looked for proposals that had diversity and community member voice, and proposals that were giving voice or awareness to the importance of systems designed to data share for the purpose of connecting people to community resources and closing referral loops that ensure folks are being connected to social and public health services. I also looked for proposals that centered on improving access to resources and health services for people from marginalized and/or rural communities.” Mary Calderon, CD(DONA) – community member reviewer.

Additionally, we leaned on the expertise of our strategy consultants by adding an element to our AINM Speaker Prep sessions, entitled, “Creating Inclusive Spaces.” Designed to provide speakers with the usual elements of reviewing meeting themes, important dates, audience engagement tips, and the virtual platform; this training usually provides general tips for a successful presentation.

This year, Jimmieka and Diane guided us on ways to intentionally set an environment where all AINM session presenters, particularly those with lived expertise, feel supported in their ability to participate in the planning and execution of their session.  This was where Diane and Jimmieka shone the brightest by sharing insights gained through their own lived experiences, not only providing tips for community members, but also for co-presenters and session moderators on how to foster a supportive space.

“I liked that they took the time to get to know who was in the room that helped them guide how they delivered their material and connect with people,” said Castro.

“Knowing who’s in the room tells us who’s represented and who is not, while bringing awareness to the power dynamics of the space“ notes Jimmieka. “This allows us to pivot, as necessary, to deliver the message in a way that is relevant, relatable, and actionable.”

Together, we hosted a total of 54 presenters, including 20 community representatives. From these training sessions came the idea to host a follow-up pre-conference meeting for community members to ensure they have access to the tools and resources necessary to participate the day of the convening. “When we invite community members to the table, it is upon us to ensure they have access to the support they may need to overcome barriers to their full participation,” says Diane.

Some additional key takeaways from Diane and Jimmieka’s “Creating Inclusive Spaces” portion of our Speaker Prep Training:

For presenters with lived expertise:

  • Set and communicate boundaries — only share what you are comfortable sharing
  • Engage in the session planning process
  • Inform co-presenters or convening organizers about supports needed to address barriers
  • Make adjustments, as needed
  • Practice self-care; communicate your needs and reach out for support
  • Build your network among each other and AINM attendees

For co-presenters and moderators:

  • Value lived and living experiences as expertise
  • Be trauma-informed
  • Involve community in the session planning process
  • Affirm and lean into lived expertise; be led by community voice
  • Support overcoming barriers with tools and resources
  • Offer a follow up check-in after AINM session
  • Continue to build, strengthen, and invest in this relationship
  • Strategize opportunities to further engage and co-create with community

“I’ve enjoyed getting to know Diane and Jimmieka and learning about their unique strengths and areas of expertise,” said Castro. She shared her top 5 tips for engaging with consultants on creating inclusive spaces, and hopes other organizations can learn from:

  1. Shape the project work scope together: It’s okay to enter the first meeting with goals, but leaving room for flexibility and collaboration. 
  2. Provide the right amount of training. It’s easy to give the entire work organization history in an hour! Don’t do that. Share what’s most relevant to the work and trust that your consultants will do their homework to bring themselves up to speed.
  3. Monitor the budget regularly as this avoids confusion and ambiguity and also allows consultants to focus on the work at hand.
  4. Maintain clear and direct communication, follow up in a timely manner and recognize when mistakes are made and correct them. 
  5. Take time to get to know each other. Cultivate the relationship, celebrate wins and work through areas of tension openly and honestly. Bonus points for making new friends!

Additionally, Jimmieka and Diane are working with convening organizers to develop an evaluation process that seeks feedback from presenters on how inclusive the convening felt to them.

The 5th Annual National Meeting will be held on November 8-10, 2021 from 12-4PM ET, with a pre-conference workshop on November 4th. Register here!

The All In: Data for Community Health National Meeting brings together a diverse group of people from public health, community-based social service, healthcare, national organizations, and other groups at the nexus of working across sectors to leverage data to improve community health. We are excited to highlight inspirational keynote speakers and sessions co-led by practitioners working alongside community members who will share their stories, tools, and lessons. We invite you to share your experiences as they relate to equity and inclusion in multi-sector community-based data sharing projects focused on promoting health and well-being.

Jimmieka Mills and Diane Sullivan are independent, strategy consultants who often combine their individual skill sets and talents to provide technical assistance to organizations seeking to equitably and meaningfully engage community members with lived expertise. Since meeting in Washington, DC at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, the pair has worked on projects, including conference workshop sessions, webinars, trainings, and person-centered research, together with groups that include the All In National Meeting, the Center for Healthcare Strategies (CHCS), the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Feeding America, and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

Jimmieka can be reached at jimmiekamills13@gmail.com and on Twitter and Diane can be reached at diane.sullivan4115@gmail.com and on Twitter.


Reaffirming a Commitment to Community: DASH Reflections On The 2021 CIE Virtual Summit

By: Miriam Castro and Susan Martinez, Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) at Illinois Public Health Institute

Though we approach a second year of virtual work, practitioners working in the field continue to be curious about how to center their local communities effectively and how to communicate that in a virtual space. This year’s Community Information Exchange Summit, hosted by CIE San Diego, focused on the importance of an anti-racist practice and practitioners’ responsibility to their local communities. The CIE Summit, which took place September 8-10, showcased community-led strategies to drive systems change that enable more inclusive and equitable health systems. The Summit convened community-based organizations, health systems, public health practitioners and other practitioners from around the nation to discuss approaches.

For the past three years, Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) has been a thought-leader, partner, and amplifier for the CIE Summit. As a firm believer in the power of building capacity and advancing health equity among local collaborations and sharing those insights to inform the field, DASH encouraged the broader DASH and All In: Data for Community Health network to participate and sponsored over a dozen attendees. DASH also curated four breakout sessions featuring past and current DASH grantees, highlighting lessons learned from their cross-sector data projects and offering advice to attendees across the data-sharing gamut.

United Ways were well-represented in this year’s Summit, in part due to DASH’s partnership with United Way Worldwide in the DASH Mentorship and in an All In: Data for Community Health Affinity Group, “United Ways and 211s.” As a moderator for two sessions, Mary Miller, 211 Innovation Manager at United Way Worldwide identified and elevated United Way insights on partnerships with local community based organizations. The “Grounded in Community” breakout session, featuring current grantees from both the DASH Mentorship and DASH CIC-Cohort cycles, emphasized ways to approach indicator and vendor selection without compromising trust in their local communities.  Afterwards, speakers (and CIC-Cohort awardees and Affinity Group participants) Josh Madfis and Kalyssa King of United Way Monterey County led an Ignite Networking session on Growing your own Community Information Exchange, and dove deeper into the benchmarks, challenges, and lessons learned from their exploration of a CIE model for their community. DASH-sponsored attendee Nicholas Winfrey of Maui United Way, a DASH Mentee and “Community Indicator Dashboards” Affinity Group participant, shared that the greatest value of participating in the CIE Summit was “[hearing of] personal stories about issues, wins, and future plans” with implementing a CIE. 

The DASH session recordings are available to view via the links below:

Attendees, including those from DASH and All In, found insights on taking a more human-centered, equitable approach to their work throughout the sessions thanks to a variety of speakers. Physician and data expert Dr. Rhea Boyd moderated some of the most powerful sessions on anti-racism and shared in her session, Driving Systems Change from an Antiracist Framework, the CIE Data Equity Framework. The CIE Data Equity Framework was created to help institutions, organizations and communities understand the historical background and potential solution behind structural racism in the context of multi-sector data sharing systems and impacts on the community. DASH-sponsored attendee and All In member, Rebecca Levin of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department shared, “I learned some interesting ideas about community engagement and applying an equity lens to something that seems as straightforward (and dare I say dry) as sharing data.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Participating in the Community Information Exchange (CIE) Summit has been one of the most exciting events that I attend all year. It blends aspirational thinking and pragmatic action to provide a blueprint for putting community at the center of the work,” said Josh Gryniewicz, Founder/Chief Narrative Strategist at Odd Duck. He also crafted a CIE Summit 2021 Event Takeaways blog, sharing his top 5 takeaways. One in particular, Data Literacy is an Avenue for Community Liberation, resonated with us: Dr. Boyd outlined the importance of communities understanding their own data and are thus better equipped to navigate misinformation during her own session.

Discussion on anti-racism and governance carried into smaller sessions. Prior to the CIE Summit, the “Re-imagining Technology in Support of Cross-Sector Referral and Care Coordination” Affinity Group, led by Greg Bloom with Open Referral, focused on the idea that technology is simply a tool and not the solution. Greg’s Ignite Session, The Resource Directory Dilemma: The status quo and opportunities for interoperability, touched on this and other popular topics from the Affinity Group. He emphasized that governance, sound infrastructure, challenging traditional data systems, and embedded anti-racism practices form the basis of an equitable community information exchange. View Greg’s CIE Summit session here.

As we’ve learned, it’s not too late to join in on these conversations, as they will continue beyond the CIE Summit. And, it helps to do so among peer practitioners to unpack how to do this work better. Here are some additional ways to keep the conversation going:

  • Attending the All In National Meeting (also virtual this year!) on November 8-10. View the agenda and RSVP here.
  • Checking out discussion threads (or starting one) on the All In Online Community,  where data enthusiasts focus on health equity by comparing notes.
  • Keeping an eye out on next year’s round of Affinity Groups.

All the session recordings are available at the CIE Summit webpage. If you attended the Summit and haven’t already done so, please take a moment to complete this short survey.

 


Top Ten Reasons Why We’re Excited About The All In National Meeting

The 5th Annual All In National Meeting will be held on November 8-10, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST, with a pre-conference workshop on November 4th. If you attended an AIl In meeting in the past then you know to expect a dynamic, exhilarating, challenging, and rewarding experience it can be. 

Here’s what we’re excited about for 2021. View the agenda here and RSVP by October 25 to save your seat. 

  1. “I’m looking forward to the pre-conference workshops! During AINM 2019, we had a few “deep dive” sessions designed to provide a more in-depth and interactive look at common topics across data sharing and collaboration. They’re different from breakout sessions due to their length and participant involvement. We, unfortunately, could not replicate that for last year’s conference since we were getting used to being virtual. Now having a year and a half’s worth of virtual event planning experience, the All In planning team is providing similar content virtually.” Susan Martinez, MUP, Program Associate, Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) at Illinois Public Health Institute.  

  2. “During AINM 2020, I found it refreshing to hear the lived experiences in connection to all the wonderful work that our organizations are doing every day such as the peer sharing session on Engagement to Co-Disruptors with Jo Bruno & Lauren Pennachio. Community is the reason I got into public health, and it is one of the reasons I will be attending AINM in 2021.” Natrina N. Kennedy, MPH, Program Associate, Data Across Sectors for Health

  3. “I am looking forward to hearing how communities are advancing racial equity in their communities. They have the best lessons, insights, tools, and tactics and always leave me inspired.” Miriam Castro, Program Manager, Data Across Sectors for Health

  4. “I’m looking forward to hearing on the ground stories from our amazing All In and All In  adjacent communities” Reena Chudgar, MPH, Director of Innovation, Public Health National Center for Innovations at the Public Health Accreditation Board

  5. “I’m eager to learn from communities who kept up multi-sector data sharing momentum during an extremely difficult time for public health.” Travis Parker Lee, MBA, Program Specialist Public Health National Center for Innovations at the Public Health Accreditation Board

  6. “The All In National Meeting is a perfect learning opportunity. It’s inspiring to hear how people (from the East Coast to the West Coast) are working to build healthier, more informed, stronger communities.” Solomon Collins, Communications Associate, Data Across Sectors for Health.

  7. “The ability to engage in solution-focused discussions on the power and impact of multi-sector data sharing to improve the lives of those in the community is incredibly unique.  The way we collectively learn from those who are actively engaged in this work and how we, as DASH, participate/engage/facilitate/elevate/share/learn and fund this body of work are key insights I seek out at the conference. Can’t wait!” Amanda Cavanagh, Senior Program Manager, Data Across Sectors for Health. 

  8. “The Conference combines impactful keynotes from thought leaders, conversation-inducing breakout sessions from community leaders, and thought-provoking deep-dive sessions with community organizations from around the nation. I was in awe of keynote speakers like Liz Dozier, breakout session speakers like Daniel Wiley, and all of our All In community members during the 2020 National Meeting. I look forward to experiencing that synergy once again during this year’s National Meeting.” Esther Babawande, Communications & Special Projects Associate, Data Across Sectors for Health.

  9. “I am looking forward to ways communities are addressing health equity and racial justice through their own lived experiences. I think it’s great that each day revolves around a certain theme, which will help to increase data sharing.” Ruchi Patel, Intern, Data Across Sectors for Health.

  10. “It is amazing and inspiring to be a part of this meeting of passionate, insightful people who are dedicated to building a better world through ‘data for community health.’ I love to hear attendees who are often siloed or working on the ‘stuff no one understands” meeting “their people;” making new connections based on common technology, taxonomy, or methodology that helps them understand their own work in a new way without the need to start from scratch.” Melissa Moorehead, Program Manager, Data Across Sectors for Health


All In Webinar: Pandemic Recovery

All In Webinar Spotlight: An Opportunity to Align Data Systems?

On August 31, All In: Data for Community Health presented ‘Pandemic Recovery: An Opportunity to Align Data Systems?’, a webinar presentation with Jeffrey Levi, PhD Professor of Health Policy and Management at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University and Karen J. Minyard, Ph.D. Georgia Health Policy Center, Professor, Public Policy & Management Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Georgia State University.

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Cultivating a Teachable Spirit: A First Step Toward Co-Creation 

Co-Authored by: Karen Frazier, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, AIR; Libby Hoy, Founder & CEO, PFCCpartners, and Natrina Kennedy, MPH, Program Associate, DASH 

 

On April 22, 2021, All In: Data for Community Health kicked off the Developing Meaningful Measures by Centering Community Voices Affinity Group with subject matter experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Patient Family Centered Care (PFCC) Partners. The launch of this Affinity Group was filled with so much enthusiasm, as approximately 100 participants from across the nation gathered virtually. This kickoff was one of six sessions created for people to share best practices on how to build and sustain trusting relationships with people who have diverse lived experiences and to co-create measurement that is driven by and focused on what communities know matters most to their health and well-being. The ultimate goal is to elevate community power in data sharing efforts and advance health equity.  

The design of this Affinity Group is rooted in AIR work funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on how to use measurement to drive transformative, meaningful, and sustainable change. For more than five years, AIR and PFCCpartners have collaborated together on a project focused on patient-centered measurement, that is, health care measurement is driven by patients’ and caregivers’ expressed preferences, needs, and values. This project showed that the key to making measurement patient-centered is for measurement teams, patients, and their caregivers to do measurement work together as equal partners. Equal partnership is when patients, families, and community members co-create or decide together what metrics to measure, how to measure them, who should get the results, and how to use those results. 

Members of the DASH National Program Office team sat down with the lead facilitators, Karen Frazier of AIR and Libby Hoy of PFCCpartners, to learn more about how their partnership mirrors what they are teaching in the Developing Meaningful Measures Affinity Group. At AIR, Karen’s work focuses on how centering people and communities in measurement can lead to systems change. Libby got started in this line of work as a mother of three sons with mitochondrial disease, who each had a total of six specialists. After many long nights in the hospital, Libby realized that in the culturally diverse city of Long Beach, California, not everyone who entered the hospital had the same opportunity to partner and set a team approach to care. It was extremely helpful for Libby and her family to have a pathway to care that was in direct alignment with their values. As a result, partnership has been at the core of PFCCpartners’ work. Libby noted, “This is really interesting too is that [w]e came from two different perspectives, obviously lived experience and professional but also, you [Karen] looked at systems first, and I was in the middle of a system and never saw the system,” said Libby of PFCCpartners. 

AIR’s work in patient-centered measurement alongside PFCCpartners ’ lived experience is a dynamic duo. Together, PFCC and AIR co-create the Affinity Group meetings. This requires them to trust, listen to one another, and be both flexible and ready to change plans. When asked, what trust looks like in their partnership, they stated that it is essential to have an open space for people to talk where others are ready to listen, hear, and understand other perspectives, and then take action on what is heard. Karen added, “all partners should be treated and valued as equal members of the team. They should have access to all the same information as other team members, they should be included in the team’s activities, and their ideas should be acted upon.” It is important for organizations entering into partnerships with community members to be authentic, humble, and ready to learn, recognizing what they do not know. According to Libby, “when building authentic relationships; we must be prepared to be incompetent.”  

This Affinity Group is focused on partnering with community members around measurement because measurement is directly connected to power! Karen points out that traditionally, “measurement is used by those in power to set goals, define success, and determine resource allocation.” An important part of changing systems and making them more equitable is changing how those systems use measurement. Re-centering measurement around people and communities—especially those who have been excluded and marginalized—helps recenter systems around people and communities. Karen describes that by co-creating measurement with patients, families, and communities, we can “focus on what they care about, center their voices in the decisions that impact them, realign power structures, and build equity into systems as opposed to reinforcing inequities.” Measurement also provides an outlet for patients, families, and communities to act on the sense of urgency that they feel in the face of an inequitable system. Libby mentions that “measurement activities are complicated, but they give us, community members, an informed path forward. We cannot fix a problem that we cannot see because it hasn’t been measured.” 

When asked what they have in store for this Affinity Group, Libby informed us that they are sticking to co-creation – to decide together with the participants what topics to cover. Karen and Libby’s greatest hope for participants is that when they walk away from the sessions, they have cultivated what Libby refers to as a “teachable spirit.” This means that when partners approach measurement work together, they are prepared to build and sustain trusting relationships by recognizing that there is a lot that they do not know. It means decentering themselves and listening, hearing, and valuing their partners as equals when identifying shared goals and co-creating measurement. It means having humility! Humility is at the heart of every meaningful partnership centered around measurement, as it has the potential to contribute to more equitable systems that reflect the needs and priorities of communities. This Affinity Group will continue to engage organizations and individuals from across the country interested in leaning into meaningful partnerships to do measurement work.  

This Affinity Group has not only been well received but has given DASH awardees an opportunity to learn, connect with peers, and gain insights on how to advance the field through measurement and community partnership. It is not too late to join this Affinity Group, which meets virtually, every 4th Thursday at 11:00 a.m. central standard time. Click here to learn more about the Developing Meaningful Measures by Centering Community Voice Affinity Group and a listing of other Affinity groups on our web page.  

 

For the downloadable version of this publication, click here.


Webinar Recap: Creating Shared Power Through Community Collaboration

By: Ruchi Patel, Northwestern’s Applied Practice Experience Intern for Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH)

 

All In Data for Community Health hosted a showcase webinar, Building Community Capacity by Sharing Power, Storytelling, & Systems Change, on April 21st, 2021. The recorded session, resource guide, and PowerPoint presentation slides accompanying the webinar can be found on the All In website

This summary provides 4 takeaways on racial health equity, focusing on the barriers Black mothers face regarding maternal and infant health outcomes and how two organizations have created spaces for Black women’s voices to be heard and drive changes within institutions. This discussion was initiated by Dr. Meredith Shockley-Smith, the Director of Equity and Community Strategies at Cradle Cincinnati, Queens Village, and Brittney Mosley, the Community Health Director at the Mississippi State Department of Health. This webinar was moderated by Ninma Fearson, senior associate for the Health Impact Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, an All In partner.

The topic of this webinar was how increasing community capacity could catalyze health equity. Dr. Shockley-Smith and Brittney Mosley shared their insights into how their work leads to the engagement of Black women and holding institutions and systems accountable to reduce racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes. Some of the primary goals among each organization included reducing racism and racial disparities associated with infant and maternal mortality rates; and creating sustainable system changes within multi-sector groups. 

  1. Establishing collaborations among multi-sector groups enabled Shockley-Smith and Mosley to work with allies to break institutional and systemic barriers creating equitable opportunities for Black women. Black women are not being heard by their physicians and society when it comes to their own health. Birth outcomes for Black women are drastically different compared to White women, as they are not receiving emotional support before and after pregnancy. As a result, they needed external partners such as the department of transportation, the department of education, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, and the Mississippi Public Health Institute to be involved in change.

The Mississippi State Department of Health also involved the following organizations as part of their home team for partnerships:

  • the Meridian Freedom Project as a community liaison, 
  • United Way
  • Mississippi State University
  • EC Health Net
  • food pantries
  • faith-based organizations
  • WIC centers      

    “Because of that … strong Black women’s mentality, ‘oh it can’t be that bad”, complaining or ‘you’re stronger than you think’ that kind of concept really impacts outcomes of birth. We get at having to make the value of women, the voices of Black women, be important to everyone including medical professionals, but also to society at large. I want to walk around in a Black body and be valued.” –Dr. Meredith Shockley-Smith 

      2. Both speakers discussed the importance of capacity building as racism, and explicit bias commonly occurs in the health workforce. By sitting together and discussing, women can openly share their issues and create a vision for this movement with the Queens Village Board. This is what centering Black women looks like, as they express their needs for their own health. Bringing together community members with other stakeholders to share concerns, skills, and knowledge can empower communities to create sustainable goals in different ecological levels of health.

      3. By increasing shared power towards communities, more funding or infrastructure can be provided directly to these causes, reducing maternal and infant mortality rates. Funders came to the Queens Village board and asked how they would like to see the money being spent. By opening up possibilities to the community, they can achieve increased levels of health initiatives as they are the individuals who know the health status of the community members and can prioritize funds as they see fit. 

“At this table there are queens, so there are community members who are on boards. There are queens who are not board members and there are staff members on the Queen’s Village board who are taking notes about conversations about what the movement should look like. That’s what we mean when we say ‘centering Black women’.”- Dr. Meredith Shockley-Smith

4. Another key takeaway is the value of advisory boards, which provide support and guidance to community stakeholders. The community advisory board outreached to Black women to better understand their needs and barriers to identify the root causes of infant and maternal disparities. Dr. Meredith Shockley-Smith mentions how Queens Village used a community advisory board and community-based participatory research (CBPR) to continually center Black women to know what resources they need to reach a level of health equity.

 

Additional Resources

You can find additional resources and approaches to building community power and improving maternal health outcomes within the All In Network. A Trailblazer talk was given during the All In National Meeting 2020 titled “Disrupting Business: Building a Community-led Movement to Address Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality” highlights the importance of qualitative data and community engagement methods to improve maternal health and eliminate infant mortality. This talk was presented by Lora Gulley and Alecia Deal of FLOURISH, an initiative powered by Generate Health, with the goal to reduce infant mortality in St. Louis. One FLOURISH community change project focused on providing resources to Black pregnant and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked with the St. Louis Metro Market to supply fresh produce to women during their pregnancy and distributed essential care packages to families who may not have had access to resources for their newborns. Lora Gulley described their community leaders cabinet (CLC), which comprises community residents who either live in high-impact zip codes or have lived through adverse birth outcomes. These individuals can decide on the key priorities that Generate Health should focus on and invest their time and funding on. Using the CLC allows community members to advocate for their needs and make sure that resources are being distributed equitably.

 


All In Podcast Season 3 Is Here!

The wait is over – Season 3 of the All In Podcast has begun! Our new host, DASH Program Manager Miriam Castro was joined by Detroit’s very own Tawana Petty for the first episode. As an author, organizer and advocate, Tawana has made huge impacts in issues ranging from data equity to racial justice and more. In this episode, she discusses: how business drives facial recognition technology, who benefits from surveillance technology, Project Greenlight and more. Listen to the podcast here and join the conversation on social media and our online community!

Episodes from seasons 1-3 are available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

Season 3 Episode 1 

Mass Surveillance of Black Bodies & Anti-Racist Data-Sharing: An Interview with Tawana Petty

Tawana Petty is a mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet, and author. She is intricately involved in water rights advocacy, data, digital privacy rights education, racial justice, and equity work. She is the National Organizing Director at Data 4 Black Lives (D4BL), and director of Petty Propolis, a Black woman-led artist incubator primarily focused on cultivating visionary resistance through poetry, literacy and literary workshops, anti-racism facilitation, and social justice initiatives. Podcast Host Miriam Castro and Ms. Petty discuss how the push for biometric mass surveillance in Tawana’s home city of Detroit has contributed to the dehumanization of Black bodies during COVID-19. Tawana shares with Miriam the process all allies must take from allyship to co-liberation to foster real social justice and what steps organizations can make to create anti-racist data-sharing efforts.

Resources for this podcast episode are available at: www.allindata.org/resources/podcast-s3-e1/



All In’s Shared Vision for Racial Equity Includes Understanding, Acknowledging & Creating Inclusive Spaces

By: Miriam Castro, Program Manager, Data Across Sectors for Health and Susan Martinez, MUP, Program Associate, Data Across Sectors for Health

On October 22, 2020, All In: Data for Community Health hosted a webinar training, All In for a Shared Racial Equity Vision, led by Shavon Arline-Bradley, Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H Beyond Solutions, LLC. Her training helped participants define what the All In community means when it talks about racial equity. Through this training, participants learned how racial equity and inclusion show up in multi-sector community collaboration and data sharing work; understood what racial equity is; and felt more confident to take the next step and act in their professional capacities to address racial equity

Watch the webinar recording of All In for a Shared Racial Equity Vision and download the handout here.

A shared vision starts with understanding our shared language and what we mean. As such, the training started with a level setting activity. Shavon opened with a set of images: the COVID-19 virus, the Zoom logo, the photo of George Floyd’s final moments on earth, an image of protests, and finally an image of the 2020 election. Her prompts brought a mix of reactions from the 154 participants who attended. Reactions ranged from outrage to pain to hope. 

“Our personal reactions stem from our understanding that the influence of society is reflective in our work and in the capacities in which we serve,” Arline-Bradley said. “Individuals bring their biases, perspectives, and worldviews to the table and it affects the way that we implement and engage in public health.” 

This simple but powerful concept and the following definitions guided the training:

Determinant A label/element has been placed on individuals by society and aligns with how someone is going to thrive. For instance, race has been a core determinant of an individual’s value in our country, as has class, a person’s access to finance, and their gender, be it identity or orientation. In America, this has shaped the policies and practices around how an individual is determined. If a person is not valued within their society, it will directly impact a person’s ability to thrive.
Race A social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics. Used to define dominance and access.
Racism Institutional and individual practices creating and reinforcing oppressive systems of race relations. Whereby people and institutions engage in discrimination adversely restrict, by judgment and action, the lives of those against whom they discriminate. Racism is a harmful determinant of health by the system that has instituted racism has a major impact on the lived experience.
Lived experience How a person is treated, set against standards (imposed by someone else) and affects the jobs that are available to a person and environmental exposures, etc; based on a determinant (such as race)
Anti-Racism The process of identifying, challenging, and eliminating the values, policies, and behaviors within the interlocking systems of social oppression (sexism, classism, heterosexualism, ableism) to redistribute power and transform racial disparity outcomes. That is so the factors are no longer a predictor of success or failure for People of Color at the structural level. 
Anti-Racism in practice An operationalization of pushing policies and practices to redistribute power and to transform disparate outcomes. Race is no longer a factor.
Equality Equal distribution of resources
Equity Providing all people with fair opportunities to attain their full potential to the extent possible, including the presence of policies and practices to provide everyone with the support they need to improve the quality of their lives. Who defines full potential? Who defines this optimal experience? The intent for equity is around fairness, free from injustice, or free from systemic barriers. 
Racial Equity Race no longer determines your outcome. Race isn’t a factor in one’s ability to thrive.
Racial Equity Framework Whereas a lens can shift a framework is solid. A racial equity framework takes into account race and ethnicity and considers the disparities and structural root causes of critical issues.

A shared vision involves a careful decision around what lenses and frameworks are useful for shared work. Arline-Bradley walked through the differences between racial equity and racial justice as lenses. The latter involves acknowledging racial history and understanding how it shows up in our work and in our lives. Recognizing that individuals have not been in positions of power to create change, to be meaningfully involved and who haven’t had a seat at the table to help create structures that can help change their current circumstances. 

A racial equity lens separates symptoms from causes, while a racial justice lens brings into view the confrontation of power, the redistribution of resources, and the systemic transformation necessary for real change.

“I really appreciated how Shavon dove in the details about diction and what specific words truly mean, especially when they have a vast impact on different issues like health equity, representation in decision-making/programming, etc when acted upon. There are differences between equality vs. equity, outreach vs. engagement, acceptance vs. inclusion – and Shavon picks up on these nuances and can talk about why they matter in a way that anyone can understand and internalize,” Solomon Collins, Communications Associate with Data Across Sectors for Health, expressed.

Moving from shared language to shared action involves authentic community engagement. Participants were asked to differentiate between community outreach and community engagement. Participant comments included the following: “engagement is bi-directional, outreach is to engagement is with, outreach is a checklist exercise. Engagement is transformative.”

Arline-Bradley explained that community engagement has another layer of accountability and ensures that a community member is part of the larger team and that data is shared. Voice equals vote and power is shared so that community members are seen as experts and can impact change to their circumstances. Community members are experts who can impact changes and they are a resource that should warrant investment and advancing skills and develop training opportunities. True empowerment isn’t just gifts for time or focus groups, but rather creating sustainable practices in partnership with communities as a collective. 

“Getting started means having more participation, adding more people to the table, and adjusting as needed. We cannot prioritize, map, assess, hold preliminary meetings without having true engagement. Often, we get into our practice, space, tenure, and our leadership and we forget that the community we say we’re a part of brings assets to the table that many of us do not have. We can’t do the work collectively if we don’t start out with that support and humility,” Arline-Bradley said. 

As we move towards racial equity in practice, Arline-Bradley helped us recognize that it’s not an easy process, but it is necessary to create change. She challenged participants to open the door for community engagement, move beyond outreach to making it a standard part of the work. She encouraged participants to:

  • Welcome conflict because it leads to dialogue and new perspectives. 
  • Commit to ongoing learning and long-term transformation. 
  • Ensure that activities are sustainable because it will lead to transforming culture and systems. 
  • Adopt collaborative governance models which is a key difference for inclusive and equitable practices and transparency. 

“I heard Shavon speak for the first time during a New Jersey Health Initiative event – she engaged with attendees in a way that challenged us all to think about ways we could incorporate racial equity work into our daily duties, no matter our role in our organization. Afterwards, I felt inspired to learn more about her work and found she had the lived experience and expertise to provide the All In community with strategies that would help members take the necessary steps to begin applying or continue to apply a racial equity lens to collaboration and data sharing efforts to improve the health of their community.” Naomi Rich, Program Specialist, Public Health National Center for Innovations, recalled. 

 

“I appreciated Rev. Shavon Bradley’s presentation on a Shared Racial Equity Vision, and in particular, her clarity in comparing the difference between community outreach and community engagement. Our nationalInvest Health work thatReinvestment Fund leads seeks to help small to mid-sized cities make that distinction in their efforts to authentically engage the communities they partner with to advance equity. Rev. Bradley leaned in on not just how the boxes have been historically checked, but more importantly, what the specific tactics are that can build lasting trust and equity with residents.” Jennifer Fassbender, Director of Program Initiatives, Reinvestment Fund, said. 

 

“With the All In National Meeting approaching in December, it was exciting to hear Shavon guide us in understanding key differences between the concepts of racial equity vs. racial justice, as well as community outreach vs. community engagement. We look forward to applying the framework she shared to both understand where All In communities are in their journeys but also identify where we can make improvements to promote racial justice.” Anna Barnes, Program Director, with Data Across Sectors for Health and All In, reflected. 

This training is one activity leading up to the 4th Annual All In National Meeting, taking place Dec 8 – 10. Registration is now open to All In members and the general public. RSVP here.

Additional Resources:


All In for a Shared Racial Equity Vision Webinar

On October 22, 2020, All In with Shavon Arline-Bradley, Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions, LLC hosted a webinar training that helped define what the All In community means when it talks about racial equity. The training explored how racial equity and inclusion show up in multi-sector community collaboration and data sharing work. The training helped guide participants toward understanding what racial equity is and help them feel more confident to take the next step and act in their professional capacities to address racial equity.

Session objectives included:

  1. Participants will learn strategies to engage community members/people experiencing racial inequities in the design of community collaborations, data systems, and data-driven programs and policies.
  2. Participants will listen and reflect on a case study presented to examine how data ownership and power dynamics between organizations and community members can shape the design of initiatives to be centered in equity principles.
  3. Participants will identify how their personal and organizational beliefs and practices can support them in taking a step to address racial equity.

Resources from this training include: