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Spreading Care through the Backyard Initiative

Carl Lobley, Andre Graham and Minkara Tezet, Cultural Wellness Center  and the Backyard Initiative-attending the International Health Fair,  Saturday, April 16th at the Midtown Global Market. Photo Credits: Minkara Tezet

Carl Lobley, Andre Graham and Minkara Tezet, Cultural Wellness Center and the Backyard Initiative-attending the International Health Fair,
Saturday, April 16th at the Midtown Global Market.
Photo Credits: Minkara Tezet

The BYI Back Page is produced each month as a collaborative venture between the BYI Communications CHAT & Alley Communications, Inc.,  publisher of The Alley Newspaper.  The Communications CHAT works with BYI CHAT(s) (Community Health Action Teams) each month as a “Resource CHAT”—helping to get the news and activities of the BYI out to the broader community.

What Does It Mean to Care?

This is an interesting time in our development as an initiative.  As a community we have lots of work to do.  We are working, I feel, to change the conditions in our community.  We are attempting to do what has not been done in any other community.  There are some things unique to us and they give us center stage in our own healing processes and practices.  This is where I see caring coming in.  It is our heart as a community that is driving us towards healing.  It is the work of sharing our hearts in our collective work as the Backyard Initiative.  I see potential in our efforts and I applaud the dedication of each of the Community Health Action Teams giving intentional care to wounds unattended by the modern health care system.

Caring has to be at the core of our work because I have witnessed us face challenges internally and externally and overcome them as a community.  It is your heart.  It is the ability to share the vision of your heart’s effort in the teamwork you exhibit as we are building community through a system of giving care.  The Backyard Initiative is more than a partnership with Allina Health.  Communities have become accustomed to being used by corporations; non-profit and for profit.  The aim is much higher than gains.  As a care giving system the Backyard Initiative is a living entity we are keeping alive with our hearts.  As we give our time, energy and efforts towards the care of our community we create healing.

Care is an intentional act motivated by the heart.  It is a way of living in harmony with the spaces you find your spirit entering.  Caring, to care, is being mindful of the heart as a spiritual instrument tuned to hear the voice of the Creator.  Caring is the voice of a community member calling to check on you because they miss seeing your face.  Caring is someone taking the time to walk the neighborhood to show a presence and commitment to helping others feel safe.  These are all things I see happening around me within the Backyard Initiative.  My greatest wondering these days is if we know what we (the community) have done in creating a functional Community Care Giving System™.

Minkara Tezet

Griot of Psychology and Psychiatry, Cultural Wellness Center

Cultural Self-Study Practitioner, Backyard Initiative Circle of Healing CHAT

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International Health Fair at the Midtown Global Market: The Backyard Initiative and the Cultural Wellness Center were co-partners with others in the effort. Photo Credits: Minkara Tezet

The BYI Resource Center is pleased to host the ReTHINK Your Drink initiative with the assistance of Midtown Global Market vendors:  Produce Exchange, Manny’s Tortas, and Safari Express. Photo Credits: Minkara Tezet

The BYI Resource Center is pleased to host the ReTHINK Your Drink initiative with the assistance of Midtown Global Market vendors: Produce Exchange, Manny’s Tortas, and Safari Express. Photo Credits: Minkara Tezet.

All Backyard Initiative CHAT activities are organized around these four Health Priorities:

1. Social Cohesion:

The sense of community and belonging that community members have. Community members feel they live in a place where people trust and respect each other and have a sense of responsibility to take care of each other.

2. Social Support:

The support that a community member receives from and gives to the community members around them, including emotional and spiritual support, help with daily needs and crises, and the sharing of advice, information, and feedback.

3. Health Education:

The degree to which community members and their families have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic information and services needed to make appropriate decisions regarding their health. This includes information about what is essential to health (the importance of the family, community, spirituality, the environment, culture, food, sleep, and movement) as well as the medical information needed to address a specific health condition.

4. Health Empowerment:

Community members are active participants in their self-care, and have the knowledge, skill, and confidence to manage their health and health care and collaborate with health practitioners.

 

 

 

 

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