Big institutions like government make the rules and rules matter. That’s why Building Healthy Communities is building the power and collaborative partnerships necessary to change the rules.
Building Healthy Communities depends on an inclusive, healthy, democratic process. We are committed to nurturing civically engaged communities with the skills and relationships necessary to tackle their unique challenges. While each success takes us one step toward healthier communities, it is the investment in the communities’ civic infrastructure that will sustain these wins beyond 2020. Building Healthy Communities employs five Drivers of Change that are critical to optimizing democracy now and into the future. Click on the boxes below for more information about the Drivers of Change or skip below to read more about how the drivers move the needle on health outcomes.
- People Power
- Youth Leadership Development
- Enhanced Collaboration and Policy Innovation
- Leveraging Partnerships and Resources
- Changing the Narrative
As described on the BHC Overview page, community health is not an accident, but the result of historical and present day differences in how some communities are valued over others. BHC uses the Framework for Health Equity (see below) to explain why an African-American child born in West Oakland can expect to die 15 years before a White child born in the Oakland Hills, less than five miles away. Using this Framework as a guide, each Driver of Change is critical to creating the conditions in each of those “upstream” factors that drive health outcomes—the boxes on the left—so that every person and every community has a fair shot at healthy life.
Changing the way people think about health and why some people have opportunities for health and others do not, what we call narrative change, is helping to reshape norms and beliefs about who matters in our society and how best to invest in community health. This shift in narrative will reset the terms of public debate on key policy issues. Through youth and resident power building, community stakeholders will be able to effectively shift the balance of power and hold institutions accountable for addressing social inequities and ensuring all communities have access to the resources essential for health. This will take the form of policy and systems changes that create healthy places and people, as well as leveraging new partnerships with the private sector and other foundations.
The Framework for Health Equity explains why health is often unequally distributed across race, class, immigration status, sexual orientation, and all of the ways in which we are artificially divided. The Drivers of Change framework guides how we disrupt the status quo and realize our vision of health and justice for all.
Framework for Health Equity