Blog

Mar
08

How Changing Your Writing Style Can Improve Community Engagement

I once knew a guy who couldn’t smell. Anything. At all. And because scent is invisible, his inability to detect it was also invisible. So despite the fact that his ...

Jun
22

Seeing a System of Health Equity Through Community Engagement

When explaining the power of community engagement to reveal and address the invisible causes of health inequities, I draw on my Chinese-American culture and use the metaphor of a bowl. ...

May
25

These Two Pastors Became Believers—In Young People

The Reverends Richard Joyner and Jeffrey Brown reached turning points in their careers when they realized that the early, preventable deaths in their communities—due primarily to poor nutrition or violent ...

May
18

Authentic Community Engagement Requires Vulnerability

When was the last time you were disarmed and uncomfortable in a professional setting, and stayed in that place longer than usual for the greater good? In order to create ...

Apr
08

Finding Common Ground with Human-Centered Design

Last week, I spent an afternoon with a group of new friends reimagining Rockaway Avenue in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. We listened as a community health advocate ...

Mar
23

A Fresh Model for Community-Driven Change

Active Living By Design is about to launch a fresh model for community-driven change to reflect the evolution of our field’s growth. It reminds me of how far we’ve come. Early ...

Mar
04

A Rural County Finds Unity in Diversity

I recently had the opportunity to listen in on a presentation by religious scholar and author Andrew Harvey. In his presentation, he shared a quote that resonated with me. He ...

Feb
19

New Partners: Smarter about Context

A smart person in our field once said, “When you’ve worked with one community, you’ve worked with one community.” I understood this to mean that communities are unique entities. Indeed, ...

Oct
09

“I don’t know” is a good place to start

The most important thing I know about systems change is that I don’t. I don’t know. The fields of public health, health care and the many other disciplines that influence social ...

Aug
12

Teaching the Whole Child Requires Whole Communities

“If I had had to nominate a student ‘most likely to be incarcerated,’ John* would have gotten my vote. So when I see him around town now, it still gives ...

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