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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

MACDC Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations

I first learned about collaborative work spaces when I was living in Brooklyn. I vaguely remember that it was a writer's space so I did a quick google search and came to the Brooklyn Writers Space. I remember thinking about how that might be a good resource for entrepreneurs and would like to eventually create my version of a collaborative work space at some point.

One of the United Way's partner organizations is the Boston based Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporation. Their website provides information about the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI): Co-Work, which includes grant funding for collaborative groups. 
I found out about MACDC while attending an event a few years ago and had a chance to interview President Joe Kriesberg. 

I like that MACDC's Theory of Change incorporates rural communities into it's focus. What feedback can you share regarding how the unique needs of rural communities are an important part of community development work?
 
Community development in rural areas shares the same values and basic elements as community development in urban areas, but it manifest itself differently. Community engagement is harder when people are spread out, and it can be even harder to identify and engage low income people as they are more disperse.

That said, most rural communities have a strong network of existing leaders that can be engaged and smart CDCs find creative ways to engage new leaders.

Rural CDCs are more likely to focus on home repair and of course their housing projects are much smaller – something that can be challenging given the affordable housing system’s preference for scale.  Many rural CDCs are highly focused on economic development given the economic struggles that can be found in much of rural America.

We see our rural members more focused on growing local businesses and supporting entrepreneurs.

Another difference we find is that rural CDCs are often filling the void created by small local governments with little community development capacity. Rural groups often help their towns to raise and administer grants and help construct or even manage community facilities.

With all these differences, however, the same three elements remain: community building, improving the built environment, and help people to transform their lives.

A few years ago I attended a NYSERDA event (link copied below) and am interested to know; is there a comparable organization or state funded initiative that services Massachusetts?

http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/

I don't think we have an organization like this, but we do have strong energy programs at our state energy office and Mass Development plays some of the same roles with financing projects, I think.

There is a youth movement called Power Shift that aims to function as a gathering place for the youth climate movement. I'm interested to know of any similar programs and/or initiatives that you may wish to draw attention to including MACDC's Green Community Development movement.

CDCs are committed to environmental sustainability as documented in a report we released a couple of years ago. http://macdc.org/research

MACDC’s big priorities right now are the Community Investment Tax Credit and the Mel King Institute. We may be launching an effort around community development and health later this year.

How did the relationship with the LISC come about and what kinds of outcomes are MACDC and LISC looking to create through the classes offered at the Mel King Institute? 

MACDC and LISC have been close partners for 20 years or more – long before I arrived so I’m not sure how it started.  The major outcomes we hope to achieve long term is (1) stronger, better trained CD staff; (2) younger more diverse workforce; (3) more and better partnerships among CDCs and between CDCs and other stakeholders; (4) better community level outcomes due to higher CDC production.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

 

Recently, I found myself thinking; " How many people have to die before action is taken to decrease gun violence?" I suppose there is an argument for the fact that all societies are desensitized to their own failings.

Where then, must we go to gather together those that have the right thinking on the issues that hold us back from living up to the ideals of our society?


Although I don't recall the first time I thought about the idea of fostering discussion around gun violence as a public health issue, even a brief google search shows that this topic is already out there.


There's a lot to delve into here...


I do think that a civil society has an obligation to provide certain services to its citizens. Health care, being one of them. In order to move from talking about heady ideas and lofty goals to actually identifying what specific steps to take to create a better quality of life when it comes to access to health care, you have to get into economics.


An idea by itself is stagnant without the necessary resources and oversight to actually take action.


Rather than write this entire post from an editorial perspective, I think it will be more useful for me to give an overview of some of the voices that have chimed in to the discussion about whether or not gun violence is a public health issue.


No matter how you define it, public health only moves forward when facts are given pride of place over everything else.


If you google Public Health, the first entry that comes up is the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Other sources of information are the WHO (World Health Organization) and the APHA (American Public Health Association).


If you want to see a fact sheet on gun violence, the APHA has a resource titled, "Gun Violence Prevention.Forbes.com has an article that reviews several different perspectives on the topic of whether or not gun violence is a public health issue.


Diversity of thought  is necessary to yield any kind of forward thinking approach to improving our society; thus community activists, students, think tanks and colleges and universities should all have a role in shaping the discourse around gun violence and how best we can understand it and prevent it.


I spoke with Professor Jon Vernick, Co-Director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research  at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health about the idea of framing gun violence as a public health issue.


"Guns claim more than 30,000 lives in the United States alone every year and another additional 70,000 or so non-fatal violent injuries are associated with guns. By thinking of it as a public health problem we can consider all aspects of the problem, not just gun deaths by homicide which are of interest to the criminal justice world, (but) we can also  think about suicide and accidental gun deaths. We can consider upstream solutions. Whereas the criminal justice system thinks primarily, though not exclusively about punishment, public health thinks primarily about trying to keep people from getting hurt in the first place.


Public health also has a tradition of focusing on the vector of a particular cause. In this topic, the vector is the firearm. There is a history in public health about 'how we can modify the vector'; how to keep guns out of the hands of a violent person in the first place.


There is a history of success that public health has had in other areas such as motor vehicles.By thinking of guns as a public health problem maybe there is inspiration that can be drawn from other successes."


This quote brings to the surface the idea that there are multiple aspects to gun violence which, in my opinion, is an important point. In order to make progress it is necessary for the major media outlets to inform the public of the kinds of things that are taking away from our ideas and ideals as a nation. Moving forward, it is absolutely critical to have more in-depth conversations about preventative measures. These conversations, guided by a nuanced perspective of the topic(s), inform the voting public and the wheels of progress turn...or at least that's the idea.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

  Love 146

                                      http://love146.org/
   * All photography,video content and verbiage is credited to Love 146.


 https://twitter.com/love146https://www.facebook.com/Love146.orghttps://www.pinterest.com/officiallove146/http://vimeo.com/love146http://instagram.com/love146
   

"link 
between
substance
abuse 
and 
  exploitation"
                                                   recognizing
                                                   substance 
                                                     abuse
                                                        as
                                                         a
                                                   healthcare
                                                      topic (t5c)





                                                          http://love146.org/


                           “Because we want you to know 
                                                 that you’re never alone, and that 
         someone is always awake and there 
                                                 for you, even if you don’t need them.”



                                                     
                                                   
                                               

                                                     

LGBTQ                            Interfamilial                            100,000                          CSEC

                                              
prevention_02"...“trauma bonding” 
an abuser forms or fosters an emotional attachment (“friendship,” “love,” etc…) in the life of a victim."

"...a classic tactic abusers use to maintain their position of exploitation."

"We’ve encountered children who are not happy to leave their abuser because they’ve grown attached to them. Be aware of this potential complexity as you approach a piece."



family_blog_tattoo
                                      




                                         



     Frame Experiences As Events, Not Identities

"It’s more accurate and dignifying to victims to simply say what happened in the past instead of  framing your language in a way that carries that event into a stationary identity for the person. Instead of “Trafficking  survivor, Jessica, ….” say “Jessica, who escaped trafficking in 2010…”



Love146

                                                          







                                               
shop2




join3


partner4







create3






host3
  
                                                                 


Agape                       AgApE                      aGaPe                   agapE                  









                   






 http://love146.org/
                                                                                               

Sunday, January 15, 2017

We Fight For Whitney

                                           












Red Brick Station  

02/05/2017  
3PM-7PM  
                                                                                                          
Restaurant and Brew Pub
redbrickstation.com      
8149 Honeygo Blvd, White Marsh, Maryland 21236       
       

Craft Brew Program of the Year-Winner
(The event will be held in the Banquet Room) 


Live Music Featuring

Rob Thomas and Suzy Taylor

Facebook                       Facebook

Rob Thomas                 Suzy Taylor
http://bit.ly/2ilTRyz           http://bit.ly/2iIiIKR



Directions

http://bit.ly/2j8t0qz

GoFundMe

Whitney's Cancer Fund
http://bit.ly/2j9ta1m


**Event will be held in the Banquet Room**
Multi-Vendor event featuring Premier Designs,
Lularoe,
Direct Cellars Elite Wine,
Pampered Chef,
Rodan + Fields, and more...

Gift Basket Raffles!!


If you are unable to attend and would like to make a donation please visit the Go Fund Me page for Whitney's Cancer Fund.

Let's help support Whitney so she can focus on beating cancer. Thank you and hope to see everyone!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

World AIDS Day

Those of you who use social media for advocacy are well aware of the variety of ways to get the word out about causes that impact either your own life, or the lives of your friends, family, peers and the wider world.

You can visit the following websites to view events and conferences related to AIDS and other topics in health.

United Kingdom
http://bit.ly/2cDiLJa

United States
http://nym.ag/2ctFUw4

http://bit.ly/2cBNtBm


Within the public health community there is a movement to find a vaccine for AIDS and there is information about the current state of these efforts via through the aids.gov website.

http://bit.ly/1PIFOeW

The National Institute of Health also has information available if you want to base all impressions and subsequent actions on the work of medical professionals.

http://bit.ly/1xYOclB

Generally, I feel that the conversation around HIV/AIDS Awareness is much more substantial than it was when I was growing up.

Being that there is a distinction between advocacy and providing direct services, I thought it would be interesting to include some information about an organization who states that their approach is based around care for for the whole person.

Ontario, Canada
http://bit.ly/2ctFYc0

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Epilepsy Awareness Month

The topic of Epilepsy came onto my radar a number of years ago when I was getting lunch and saw someone abruptly drop and go into a seizure. I can clearly remember that very few people, if anyone,had any idea of what to do other than to call for an ambulance which of course could mean that several minutes pass before an Emergency Medical Technician arrives.

Due to the seriousness of this particular topic, I am just providing a link straight to the Center for Disease Prevention rather than rehash medical terminology and specific directives/information.

The Center for Disease Prevention
http://bit.ly/1tfgT9R

I also want to include some information form a school in the United Kingdom that has a special impact within the community of students with Epilepsy.

http://bit.ly/2cUXLKm



Saturday, October 1, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness- #GiveForward

The month of October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

When I reflect on past conversations I have had related to Breast Cancer Awareness, I can see that there are gaps in services as far as what happens the moment the patient steps back out into, "the real world," and takes on the process of navigating the same laundry lists of tasks that their peers are managing.

I have had someone in my life confront this particular situation and I wonder if there was any where near the appropriate level of support around her when she was dealing with doctor's appointments,medicine, work etc...

Below, you can see a list of resources that are related to caring for the whole person. * This is a round of of information rather than a reflection of my own direct experience.

I especially want to highlight Give Foward, a resource for crowdfunding.

www.giveforward.com/
@GiveForward


Breast Cancer Freebies
http://bit.ly/2ctA7Dm

Breast Cancer in Men
http://bit.ly/1sSBvCr

Emergency Housing Costs
http://bit.ly/2cUU9rO

http://bit.ly/2cGpPSl

How to Find Financial Resources
http://sgk.mn/1DAAAiw

Week Long Vacations (Free)
http://bit.ly/2coP4Jo