How might multi-sector partnerships support a diverse movement to raise opportunities for everyone to pursue a healthier life? Who can engage in a conversation on health equity and prosperity that leads to vision and action? How do we reach and engage people who are not part of this conversation?
To explore these questions, IAF gathered a range of partners and launched the “Health Equity And Prosperity—An American Freedom and Justice Movement” project at a meeting at the historic Lincoln Cottage in Washington, D.C. on May 11, 2016. The Cottage is the site where President Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Act. This was followed by a larger convening at the University of Maryland, College Park, on August 4-5, 2016, where hundreds of leaders from different sectors and communities developed strategies for systems change and devised action plans for activating health equity networks in specific action areas, including health care, education, employment, housing, and community development. Lastly, in April 2017 we held a meeting with business executives and key anchor organizations already working on business engagement with population health, wellbeing and equity as a community-based strategy.
Major lessons that we learned along the way include (see the final report for more):
- Start with the interests of the people we seek to recruit, rather than a definition or a position.
- Use dialogue as a disciplined approach to bring different perspectives and information together into a larger context and shared orientation.
- Pursue diversity among participants in terms of sector as well as geography, age, culture, race, and gender, and educational attainment.
- Favor in-person events in inspiring places to engage and mobilize networks of people.
- Ground dialogue by using stories to build shared language, experience, emotional connections.
- Use Appreciative Inquiry to generate a psychologically safe space and offer a positive way for people to work together.
- Use vision as an expression of individual meaning offered as a reflection of collective intention.
This project has successfully demonstrated that a diversity of leaders from multiple sectors can collaborate in sessions designed to use positive emotions. Our lessons presented in the final report speak to how we might build multisector partnerships, whom we engage in a conversation on health equity and prosperity, and how we can engage those who are not part of this conversation. Support for this project was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Final Report, including major lessons learned | View PDF
Previous Project Documents:
IAF News Release on Health Equity And Prosperity | View PDF
Partner’s Meeting for Health Equity And Prosperity | View PDF