205136 Engaging Community and Youth in the Work of the HOPE Collaborative, Oakland, CA

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mia Luluquisen, DrPH, MPH, RN , Alameda County Public Health Department, Community Asssessment Planning and Education/Evaluation Unit, Oakland, CA
Henry Herrera, MD , HOPE Collaborative, The Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy, Oakland, CA
Navina Khanna, MS , HOPE Collaborative, The Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy, Oakland, CA
Alisa Dodge , HOPE Collaborative, The Center for Popular Research, Education and Policy, Oakland, CA
Kimi Watkins-Tartt , Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
The HOPE vision includes increasing access to fresh, healthy, affordable local foods and creating local, sustainable, economic development in Oakland's most vulnerable neighborhoods, those suffering greatest impact from health disparities. Our planning process requires full engagement of community residents and youth in the planning process. The challenge is to offer neighborhood residents a meaningful connection to this project, in addition to abstract notions of community betterment. Our Collaborative struggled for some time to develop a formal community engagement process. During this time we also needed to move ahead with assessment research in six ecological micro-zones of the City of Oakland. During this process we spent a great deal of time listening to residents and distributing simple flyers to neighborhood residents. Outside of our formal plan, neighborhood residents responded to the description of our vision and mission. Residents of Oakland's poorest neighborhoods also responded to our offer of a generous stipend for participation in Action Team meetings. As residents learned about our goals to bring fresh, affordable, healthy, local food into Oakland's poorest neighborhoods, with ownership opportunities in the businesses that would constitute a local food enterprise network, they attended meetings, contributed more and more local knowledge to our research and planning efforts, demonstrated great leadership skills and motivation and slowly but surely took ownership and leadership in our Collaborative. This informal process proved more successful and inspiring than we could have possibly imagined.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the informal elements of community and youth engagement in a community collaborative process. Differentiate between formal and informal elements of community collaboration. Discuss the role of informal elements of engagement in community-based participatory research.

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Community Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have done extensive community and youth outreach and engagement work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.