Equity has become a popular topic within public health communities the last few years. While it’s relatively easy to adopt the language of equity, what does it look like when a community health initiative places those values in the center of their work and rethinks their organization and programming through an equity lens? In 2019, Food Access Raises Everyone [FARE] decided to assess the alignment of their work with their values through a diversity, equity and inclusion framework and made significant changes to their approach and how community members and stakeholders are integrated into their programming and decision making.
This presentation will share an overview of FARE’s approach to food access work in Cleveland and how FARE’s staff and advisors assessed their work using a health equity lens and developed a new community-based participatory framework to guide their decision making and work moving forward. FARE will also present a case study of the impact of adopting this new framework on the outcomes of a nutrition education program, Heart Smarts that was implemented in two other cities [San Jose, CA and Indianapolis, IN] in 2019.
The FARE PROJECT: FARE engages and builds the capacity of community members most affected by the social determinants of health and partners with grassroots organizations to address key issues in Cleveland's neighborhoods. FARE believes that using an equity framework and centering resident voices in decision making has the power to address critical immediate needs and long term systemic change in our communities. FARE convenes stakeholders, develops new and complex partnerships, provides training and support to community leaders, and develops and implements programs that reach and engage community members that other programs often miss. This comprehensive approach and FARE’s nimble structure make it possible to respond to local needs as they emerge and improve the health of people most impacted by disparities.