November Community Breakfast Recap

September 19, 2023

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the exceptional participants who joined us at the AWC's November community breakfast. Your active engagement and insightful contributions truly represent the spirit of community leadership and collaboration. The energy and generative discussions that took place were palpable, reflecting a collective commitment to positive change. Thank you for sharing your truths and unique perspectives.

Before we delve into the wealth of insights shared during the November breakfast, we'd like to extend an invitation to those who might have missed the event. If you're eager to explore more about the opportunities presented and the rich discussions that transpired, we encourage you to check out the November breakfast slide deck presentation, which offers a comprehensive overview of the key points discussed during the event.

Now, let's delve into the compelling discussions and insights from our November community breakfast.

During the AWC's November community breakfast, participants were asked which AWC project aligns most with their work. The results indicate the following preferences:

  1. Health Center Launch with CU Anschutz
  2. Paris Elementary School Repurpose with YAASPA and ABC Collective
  3. Health Fair and Aurora Health Alliance and Aurora Science & Tech
  4. Food Utility Access with Colorado Food Cluster

It appears that the "Health Center Launch with CU Anschutz" project garnered the most alignment with community participants' work.

Participants were asked to share one word describing their reactions and feelings about the OARS opportunity. The responses reflect a generally positive sentiment, with words like "opportunity," "interesting," "optimism," "happy," and "creative" suggesting a favorable outlook and enthusiasm toward the opportunity.

Opportunity

Interesting 

Optimism

Happy 

Creative

Participants were asked how the organization can partner with them to enhance the accessibility and inclusivity of their clinic while fostering a strong sense of connection and community to promote wellness and belonging. Several key suggestions and insights were shared:

  1. Reflecting Values and Engagement: Some participants highlighted the importance of having the clinic space reflect their values and mentioned a "father engagement readiness checklist."
  2. Research and Data-Driven Approach: Others suggested the need for more research organizations and a data-driven approach, emphasizing the continued invitation of organizations and evaluating goals.
  3. Tracking and Measurement: Ongoing tracking and measurement were recommended, along with language support to encourage participation, reflecting a commitment to inclusivity.
  4. Language Support and Daycare: There was an emphasis on language support and the need for daycare facilities for teachers and student teachers, acknowledging the diverse needs of the community.

These insights collectively provide a roadmap for fostering a more accessible, inclusive, and community-focused clinic environment that promotes wellness and belonging.

Participants shared their thoughts on opportunities for their organizations, the community, and the AWC to collaborate in embracing diversity and promoting wellness. The key insights and opportunities identified include:

  1. Effective Communication and Data Utilization: Participants emphasized the importance of communicating health data with context and thoughtful messaging, as well as partnering to learn how to effectively use available data.
  2. Access to Multilingual Data: There was a call for free public data from partners with multilingual support, making data more accessible and enabling its use for advocacy.
  3. Legacy Building and Community Engagement: Creating opportunities for young people in the community to engage and influence a future that reflects cultural values was highlighted as a potential avenue for collaboration.
  4. Diverse Representation and Inclusive Programming: Participants expressed the need for representation within the staff of AWC that speaks different languages and providing programming specific to the communities being targeted.
  5. Integration of Diversity and Inclusion: Baking diversity and inclusion into the core of organizations and fostering an environment that reflects these values.
  6. Educational Partnerships and Diverse Educators: Seeking partnerships related to education, bringing in more teachers, and educators who represent the community's diversity.

These suggestions underscore the multifaceted approach to embracing diversity and promoting wellness, emphasizing communication, data utilization, representation, and tailored programming as key components of collaboration.

Participants discussed various aspects of food systems and shared their insights on enhancing food accessibility, diversity, and inclusivity. The key suggestions and opportunities included:

1. Support for Growing Food: Providing special areas for people to grow their own food, along with training for small farms and gardening.

2. Overcoming Seasonal Challenges: Addressing obstacles posed by short growing seasons, particularly in community gardens.

3. Cultural Relevance: Ensuring that food options are reflective of the community's diverse cultures and offering culturally centered meals based on vegetables and fruits.

4. Affordability: Addressing the obstacle of high prices for fruits and vegetables, making healthy food more affordable.

5. Stigma Reduction: Being thoughtful about addressing and reducing the stigma associated with seeking help for food needs.

6. Community Engagement: Creating a system for word-of-mouth communication to reach people and inform them about viable food options.

7. Discounted Stores and Mobile Markets: Establishing discounted stores and community-owned food support, as well as mobile markets that support SNAP and WIC programs.

8. Familiar Food Distribution: Making food distribution systems resemble regular supermarkets and ensuring that the community is comfortable with the process of obtaining food.

9. Access to Food Banks: Participants expressed the need for a tool that enables the community to easily locate food banks and understand how to access their services.

10. Integrating Food Access with Healthcare: There was mention of hesitancy to accept food in public spaces and the suggestion of integrating food access into visits with healthcare providers, making it a seamless part of the overall healthcare experience.

These ideas collectively highlight a comprehensive approach to making healthy food accessible to all, considering cultural relevance, affordability, and community engagement as critical elements of the strategy. The discussions provide a roadmap for embracing diversity and promoting wellness through improved food systems and access.

As we look forward to continuing this journey of community collaboration, we are thrilled to invite you to our December Breakfast, which will be held on December 6 at The People's Building.

Your participation and insights have been invaluable, and we believe that your presence in future discussions will further enrich our shared efforts. Together, we can continue to work towards embracing diversity, promoting wellness, and creating a more inclusive and thriving community.

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