Healthy Neighborhoods partners and invited guests engaged in a two-day learning and networking convening held in the South Bronx. On June 7, attendees participated in a walking tour of the Mott Haven neighborhood and learned about various efforts from community leaders. The following day, participants explored community engagement and leadership. ReThink Health and Youth Empowered Solutions presented models and approaches, and resident leaders from Niagara Falls and youth leaders from the Claremont neighborhood shared their community-grounded experiences. Meeting participants also learned about the Participatory Budgeting Project and updates on the NYU Evaluation Team’s process evaluation. Attendees included partners from the nine Healthy Neighborhoods sites, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), the New York Community Trust (NYCT), Active Living By Design (ALBD), the NYU Evaluation Team, and other partner organizations.
Mott Haven Neighborhood: Walking Tour with Community Leaders
Healthy Neighborhood partners participated in a walking tour of Mott Haven and learned how community leaders are working together to transform Mott Haven into a healthier neighborhood. The tour highlighted St. Mary’s Park, Fine Fare Grocery, E. Roberts Moore Senior Center, Los Hermanos Grocery, and Betances Community Center.
While partaking in a healthy meal, participants learned about the Randall’s Island project that is providing a key connector between the Mott Haven and East Harlem neighborhoods. During this time, informal conversations and networking also took place between fellow Healthy Neighborhoods grantees, NYSHealth, NYCT, ALBD, and other invited guests.
Welcome, Reflections on Day 1 and Overview of Day 2
During this session, participants learned about updates to the NYU Evaluation Team’s process evaluation, including the resident survey used as part of the Healthy Neighborhoods evaluation.
In this panel session, participants explored various model approaches and tools for engaging residents and supporting them as leaders of change for healthy neighborhoods, such as public narrative or storytelling, distributive leadership and teams, and campaign timelines. Participants learned from the experiences of the Niagara Falls Healthy Neighborhoods partnership.
Youth Engagement and Leadership
This interactive panel discussion presented unique aspects of youth engagement and leadership development and practice-tested approaches for engaging youth as agents for healthy community change. Participants also heard the perspectives of the Claremont Healthy Neighborhoods partnership youth leaders and engaged in a dialogue about the critical roles youth play in healthy communities.
Lunch and Conversations
During this time, meeting attendees shared a meal with partners from other Healthy Neighborhoods sites, and continued engaging in networking and shared learning.
This session presented information about Participatory Budgeting, which is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. This process enables residents to work with government to make budget decisions that affect their lives. Meeting participants learned about this tool in the context of New York State and about opportunities for getting involved.
Strategy and Application Breakout Sessions
Building from the sessions in the morning, attendees engaged in deeper exploration of approaches and tools, and brainstorming of strategies on one of the following community engagement subtopics:
Sharing of Community Engagement Strategies
In this follow-up session, participants reconvened as a large group to share highlights from the strategy and application breakout sessions.
Reflections and Input from Sites
This participatory session allowed the Healthy Neighborhoods partners to share their reflections from the two-day convening, and identify exciting and promising actions to take in their communities.