Communities most impacted by racial and social inequities should be at the center of developing solutions to bring about health equity. We are committed to lifting up and learning from the lived experiences and practices of others. As communities and partners share wisdom and insights from their lives and work, we are committed to reexamining what we thought we knew and experimenting with approaches that are new to us. In addition, we believe in sharing what we’re learning to strengthen our collective efforts toward achieving health equity.
In early April 2018, we launched our inaugural call for proposals, titled Lessons Learned from Engaging with Communities. With a commitment to health equity guiding our efforts, we asked organizations to share insights gained from partnering with place- and identity-based communities to identify or implement strategies to achieve health equity. We heard from community-based organizations, legal and policy advocates, statewide coalitions, educational institutions, tribally-affiliated organizations, and public-sector agencies across Washington State who are advancing equity and building thriving communities. The Lessons Learned report highlights how organizations are building collective power, ensuring community-driven solutions, transforming organizational culture, deepening accountability, and strengthening democracy.
As we begin to chart our course as a foundation centered on health equity, we are exploring the many ways to engage communities in a way that is authentic, respectful, effective, and focused on community strengths. To inform this effort, we convened a Learning Collaborative comprised of leaders from across Washington State with deep experience advocating and organizing with communities. This report, titled “Shifting Power,” highlights perspectives from the Collaborative on how the Foundation (and philanthropy in general) can support, learn from, and partner with communities in the journey towards health equity.
As a new foundation, we have relied on various resources to inform and guide our learning. The following list includes reports, toolkits, articles, and videos that have aided us in our learning journey. Whether learning about generational trauma experienced by communities of color, examining movements for collective action, or reviewing examples of philanthropic efforts to center health equity, we hope these resources enhance and deepen your own work. We welcome your suggestions for additional resources.