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Communities Of Light Opening Store At Midtown Global Market 920 East Lake Street

Communities Of Light Opening Store At Midtown Global Market 920 East Lake Street

The Communities of Light Solar Store will open at the Midtown Global Market the week of December 3, 2012 featuring  Solar Lanterns & Generators made by community members at weekly workshops; where self-sufficiency exists and sustainability is alive and well.  Besides solar products, it will feature information on other Back Yard Initiative Citizen Health Action Teams-CHAT. The store will be near the 10th Ave. entrance.  A co-op member said, “We thank the Market for the opportunity to locate our store at the Market.  Our products will be exciting additions to the mix.”Â  Co-op members will design the sales & office space and supply the store with the community designed and  assembled  solar products.  The store space will also serve as an office for co-op members to bring their customers and provide solar generator demonstrations. Communities of Light workshops: Fri. 5:00-8:00 p.m. at 3 selected  Mpls. Parks.  Info: 612-239-4336.

“Growing in the Backyard” Citizen Health Action Team The Community Commission on Health Approves a New Project for the Backyard

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center On April 7, 2011, the Commission on Health approved the Family Garden project of the Backyard Initiative”'s Growing in the Backyard Citizen Health Action Team (CHAT). The CHAT stated in their proposal to the Commission: “This project will empower Backyard residents to produce their own healthy foods, increase connections to the local food system, and increase each family”'s understanding about how the food system works. Families participating in the Family Gardens project will actively take responsibility for creating and maintaining a series of gardens throughout the Backyard. These activities will also increase a sense of belonging and community for each family.” The Commission on Health, a group composed primarily of residents who live in the “Backyard” ”“ in Powderhorn Park, Central, Corcoran, or one of the four neighborhoods in Phillips ”“ meets every month at the Cultural Wellness Center. The Commission first met in February 2010 to put community residents at the center of the Backyard Initiative, a partnership between Allina and these communities. Its work is to monitor the health of the community, build the community”'s capacity for taking responsibility for its own health, and support efforts to maintain and improve the health of Backyard residents. The Commission gives guidance and support to community residents who work together in Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) on projects that will lead to greater health for all community residents. The members of the Growing in the Backyard CHAT told the Commission that their project is addressing the lack of access to affordable healthy food for families by helping people to overcome the barriers to growing their own food. In the health assessment conducted in 2009, 97% of Backyard residents interviewed said that affordable locally grown fruits and vegetables were very important to them. (more…)

Update on the Backyard Initiative: BYI Citizen Health Action Teams Update

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Every month at the Cultural Wellness Center, members from the Backyard Initiative Citizen Health Action Teams, or CHATs, come together to update each other on their activities and talk about common principles and problems in their community building work. Last month, on February 17, CHAT members discussed what it takes to work together and accomplish what they set out to do. The Backyard Initiative was started two years ago as a community partnership between Allina Hospitals and Clinics and the residents of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran with the goal of improving the health of the community. Most of the work of the Backyard Initiative is carried out within Citizen Health Action Teams, where community members on each team have developed a strategy for improving health and are now in the process of implementing that strategy. CHAT Leadership in the Community Elder Atum Azzahir from the Cultural Wellness Center, the facilitator of the meeting, explained to the CHAT members that the Commission on Health, a body of primarily community members from each CHAT, will be looking at the work of each CHAT this year in terms of how the work contributes to the health of the whole community and involves people from the community. She told the members, “The Commission is going to be asking ”˜Is the CHAT growing in its connection to other people?”' How are you adding to your list of people in the Backyard? Are they connecting to what you are doing, becoming part of what you”'re doing? She then asked the CHAT members to think about their leadership skills and what skills they need to develop to be effective leaders. The CHAT members identified building relationships, identifying resources, strategic planning, and influencing, directing, and organizing people as the set of skills that are needed to do the work. Elder Atum told the group that last year the CHAT members were more focused [...]

Update on the Backyard Initiative “Tell Me a Story” and Diabetes Projects Receive Support

Update on the Backyard Initiative “Tell Me a Story” and Diabetes Projects Receive Support

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center In August, the Commission on Health, a citizen group of people who live in the Phillips community or in the Powderhorn Park, Central, or Corcoran neighborhoods, gave its support to two more projects developed by Citizen Health Action Teams of the Backyard Initiative. The Backyard Initiative is a partnership between Allina and the community surrounding Allina headquarters to develop ways to improve the health of the community. Communications/ “Tell Me a Story” CHAT One of the goals of the BYI Initiative is to build the capacity and skills of residents in any ways that will contribute to their overall health. At the CHAT meetings, people often talk about how giving people opportunities to express themselves is a crucial component of health; it is one of the statements in the BYI definition of health.  The “Purpose Statement” for the Communication CHAT is: “Working to lessen or eliminate the divide between people who have information and those who don”'t so that everyone has the opportunity to be engaged in a healthy community.” (more…)

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