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The Practice of Mutual Aid & Community Care

The Practice of Mutual Aid & Community Care

by Nicole Sara Simpkins, Sarah Jane Keavney, Cara Carlson, Minkara Tezet Photo: Minkara Tezet In mid-March, several community practitioners and elders began sharing concerns about our city’s collective response to Covid-19. In particular, we were concerned for our neighbors who depend on social services, health clinics, and community for their basic needs and safety. We asked ourselves: what will happen when people without housing can’t access public libraries, or the Midtown Global Market? Where will these community members find health and safety information? How can we continue to offer care and knowledge with the Backyard Community Health Hub closed? How will people stay safe when social distancing isn’t possible in crowded shelters? What about the 700+ unsheltered people not currently on any priority list for housing and care? We also asked, what would it be like to answer these questions from the standpoint of cultural and community wellness, informed by the Cultural Wellness Center’s 21 Principles of Community/Cultural Health Practices? How would this response be different from a state, agency, or hospital system response? Where would the resources, expertise, and support come from? When systems are tasked with providing care, words like prioritization, eligibility, service delivery, and vulnerability describe how we respond to human needs. Within systems, people become symptoms, risk, percentages. When a community is tasked with providing care, words like context, inherent, tending, relationship, and reflective describe how we experience our health together. People become their capacity, their wisdom, their healing. The principles of cultural wellness teach us that a “tremendous amount of healing takes place when people take responsibility for their own healing and the healing of their community and when the community takes responsibility for the healing of its members” (Principle 4). Principles 8 and [...]

Backyard Community Health Hub September 2019

Backyard Community Health Hub September 2019

Backyard Community Health Hub July 2019

Backyard Community Health Hub July 2019

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Backyard Health Hub June 2019

Backyard Health Hub June 2019

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Backyard Community Health Hub May 2019 calendar

Backyard Community Health Hub May 2019 calendar

Backyard Community Health Hub April 2019 calendar

Backyard Community Health Hub April 2019 calendar

Backyard Community Health Hub December 2018-January 2019

Backyard Community Health Hub December 2018-January 2019

Backyard Initiative Celebration

Backyard Initiative Celebration

10 Years of Backyard Initiative Achievements

10 Years of Backyard Initiative Achievements

Backyard Initiative What We Learned

Backyard Initiative What We Learned

What We Learned The Backyard Initiative (BYI) is a partnership between residents of South Minneapolis and Allina Health. The Cultural Wellness Center, as lead agency, is the organizer and facilitator of this partnership. The goal of the BYI is to improve the health of residents living in the seven neighborhoods of the area called the Backyard. The BYI improves community health through the work of Community Health Action Teams (CHATs), which are formed and operated by residents in the Backyard. An evaluation conducted in 2016 showed that the Backyard Initiative activities were increasing four health indicators: Social support: The many kinds of support that a community member receives from and gives to other community members. Social cohesion: The sense of community and belonging. Health education: The degree to which community members have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic information and services needed to make appropriate decisions regarding their health. Health empowerment: The ability and motivation to take care of oneself—to attain the knowledge, skill, and confidence to do what it takes to get healthy and/or stay healthy. (more…)

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