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Community Leaders in Health Equity

1) Community Leaders in Health Equity

CLHE is a free 18-month education and leadership training program and curriculum with a focus on equity and health equity that is devised and implemented by Transformative Alliances LLC. This includes an in-depth overview of equity and health equity with specific explorations of race and racism, socioeconomic class and classism, gender and sexism, nation of origin and nationalism, and language and language oppression. Participants also engage in project work to help them understand how to put their knowledge into practice.

Grantee organizations from across the state reach out to and select the community members who will participate from their region. These grantees then support their participants throughout the entire program. Most regions/grantees support 12-14 participants, and more than 90 people from across Colorado participate overall. To ensure that participants have enough support, each grantee organization has at least two paid staff members who dedicate a portion of their time to guiding participants.

As a part of CLHE, participants engage in:

  • Convenings: Three- to four-day conferences focused on specific equity and health equity issues. Participants stay overnight (often with their family members). Convenings take place at different locations across the state.
  • Day-longs: One-day workshops to help prepare for convenings and provide specific regional support/attention. These take place in four consistent locations across the state. Participants attend the day-long workshop that is closest to them.
  • Midpoints: Two- to three-hour activities that participants complete locally with their participant group.
  • Personal project: Participants are supported in developing a plan for a personal, equity- and health equity-based project.
  • Community project: Participants develop a plan for an equity- and health equity-based group project with others from their region.

To implement equity values and ensure the accessibility of the program, the following resources are provided for CLHE events:

  • Food
  • Lodging (when applicable)
  • Transportation support
  • Child care support
  • Language interpretation and translation
  • Other accessibility support (e.g., disability accommodations, lactation space, prayer space, etc.)
  • Help with lost wages for people who don’t have paid time off.

Due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the current cohort is participating in a 24-month program that will conclude in 2022.

2) Continuing Track

Devised and implemented by Transformative Alliances LLC, the continuing track allows participants who have completed the CLHE program to further their leadership development and learning. Participants cultivate and implement a community-based equity or health equity project and grow their skills and understanding. Program topics include but are not limited to:

  • Exploring different community organizing models
  • Developing workable plans for equity- and health equity-based change
  • Building relationships and support networks
  • Organizing and facilitating community gatherings
  • Community outreach and engagement
  • Engaging and influencing policymakers
  • Grassroots fundraising
  • Community conflict resolution
  • Addressing dynamics of privilege and oppression in community and organizing work
  • Sustainability, community care and self-care

In its original form, the program consists of nine full-group, in-person gatherings that are one or two days in length and eight small-group coaching sessions to help people with their projects and community work. Adaptations to and extensions of this format have been made to support the current cohort due to COVID-19.

To ensure that program participants have the necessary backing to complete the program, a grantee organization supports and coordinates participants. This includes helping to arrange transportation, child care and partial to full replacement wages for missed work (for participants who do not have paid time off). Transformative Alliances LLC also engages participants in periodic check-ins. Lodging, meals, materials, interpretation, translation and accessibility support are provided for all continuing track gatherings.

The grantee organization providing participant support is the Rural Communities Resource Center. The current class of continuing track participants enrolled in the continuing track program in 2019 and will graduate in 2022.

3) Speaker Series and Associated Community Events

Chosen and arranged by Transformative Alliances LLC, featured speakers give talks designed to help listeners increase their knowledge and awareness of specific equity and health equity issues. These events typically take place in Denver.

To help extend the reach of these important concepts, speaker presentations are recorded and then integrated into three-hour events facilitated by Transformative Alliances LLC team members. Grantee organizations across Colorado host these events to support community members in more fully engaging with the associated equity and health equity topics and concepts.

Below are recordings from past CLHE related speakers:

The Body Is Not An Apology: The Impact of Sexism and Sizeism on Our Bodies and Health
Sonya Renee Taylor (she, her, hers) is an award-winning performance poet, activist and transformational leader, and author of The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self Love. In her talk, Taylor delves into an exploration of sizeism and fatphobia as well as patriarchy and sexism, side-by-side with other oppressions and considerations of health and health equity. This recording is part of Community Leaders in Health Equity in partnership with Transformative Alliances LLC.

Click here to read more about the event and watch the recording.

Exploring Patriarchy and Sexual Harm: Impact, Accountability and Healing
Sonya Shah (she, her, hers) is a social justice educator who works to seed models of restorative justice and trauma healing in her community and across the United States. In 2016 she initiated the Ahimsa Collective, an organization that works to respond to harm in ways that foster wholeness for everyone. Her experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse are critical in her analysis and approach to this work. In her talk, Shah spoke about types of sexual harm, their specific connections to sexism and patriarchy, and considered ways to address and heal this harm through restorative, transformative and healing justice. This recording is part of Community Leaders in Health Equity in partnership with Transformative Alliances LLC.

Click here to read more about the event and watch the recording.

Visit our events page for additional recorded presentations from the Health Equity Learning Series.

The video below, created by Transformative Alliances LLC, provides more details on the Community Leaders in Health Equity program and its components:

Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.