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Posts Tagged ‘CHATs’

“SAMATABAXDAY” (survivor)

“SAMATABAXDAY” (survivor)

Amged (Alpha Kemet) Yusuf, poet, abstract artist, and Coordinator of the Backyard Initiative Project S.E.L.F. CHAT team provided The Alley Newspaper with this information about this piece- “SAMATABAXDAY”(survivor): “In our native language, “Warda” means flower. She is the symbol of all the women in our Backyard Initiative Citizen Health Action Team (CHAT) and the Somali community at large. And she has a story that”'s often voiceless, unheard in an all-male dominated environment that needs to be told over and over again. The image is an artistic expression of the Warda”'s story illustrated by myself and produced through a process of discovery and deep conversation with members of Project S.E.L.F. Back home, when the day is over and the sun goes down, we use to gather in a circle around an elder and listen to inspiring tales full of wisdom to sustain us all for generations to come. There is something meaningful and healing in storytelling and we continue to use our ancestors oral traditions to communicate cohesively about the “elephants in the room” including our own “warda”'s” of the world, the true source of a healthy community. I have included some of the words from our own Warda”'s:” (more…)

Circle of Healing CHAT

Circle of Healing CHAT

The Circle of Healing Practitioners CHAT is a collaborative of Backyard practitioners which includes complementary healers, elders, representatives from different cultural traditions, conventional health professionals and community care givers. Members of this CHAT come together as practitioners interested in creating a more formalized network of people operating in a Community Care-Giving system around Backyard residents.  This will be done by providing a better information and support for healing and reflection about the message of dis-ease. This network serves both the Backyard community receiving care and the healing practitioner community in the Backyard. The vision behind the Circle of Healing Practitioners CHAT is grounded in cultural health practices and ways of knowing that honor the reciprocal and holistic nature of healing. In order to meet the health needs of the people living in the Backyard, this CHAT aims to empower health practitioners and community members and to connect the community care giving system to the conventional health care system in a more formal and integrative way. (more…)

Highlights of 2011: Strategies & Activities

Community Engagement & Leadership Community Engagement in the BYI is lead and facilitated by the Cultural Wellness Center. The community infrastructure for the initiative consists of three “pillars”: Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) Community Com-mission on Health Community Resource Body.  CHATs are formed by residents to design, implement and evaluate prevention and wellness projects. Each project targeted barriers to health, weaknesses in achieving health, and followed the recommendations outlined in the 2009 community health needs Assessment. In 2011, the CHATs held 173 activities in which 1285 residents participated. The following key themes were identified and implemented across the CHATs: Strategies to increase social support within their identified communities; Strategies to increase social cohesion within the Backyard community; Strategies based on their knowledge of problems and solutions and based on their skill set; Inventory of assets based on their social and cultural capitol. (more…)

MOVING TOWARDS FORGIVENESS: Reflections by a Dakota Language CHAT member upon seeing the documentary “Dakota 38”

As a part of the ”˜Dakota CHAT, we were inclined to show our fellow CHAT members a piece of history that no longer is disaOur showing was very powerful as well as emotional for all that were present for the showing of the documentary Dakota “38” plus 2.  I especially want to give thanks to the CHAT members who were present  to see a piece of history long over due in our daily discussions involving Indigenous peoples everywhere. Our event became an intro into a realm of forgiveness! The depiction in the movie was intense as well as moving as we seen euro-centric humans as well as indigenous humans come together in a scene not exactly familiar! Tears were undeniable, a new appreciation began to fill the room as we “all” understood the message at hand and that was ultimately “love”. Sharing it, exploring it, and accepting it. All of this brought to us by a beautiful man with a vision, Mr. Miller. (more…)

Dakota Language CHAT

Dakota Language CHAT

The Dakota Language Revitalization CHAT continues to full fill its commitment to the well being of the Dakota peoples through spiritual, cultural, language and educational ways of life that are inherit to the Dakota nation. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were more than seven thousand speakers of the Dakota language located in over 24 different reservations, reserves, homestead settlements in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. All of these speakers who called their homeland Mnisota ”shining lakes” and what is now called by settler society as the state of Minnesota, were all descendants of the original Dakota”'s who inhabited this area since time immemorial. The tragic consequences of the Dakota wars of 1862 lead to the Diaspora of the Dakota nation from their original homeland. Subsequent to the events of 1862 and the creation of the reservation system; the governments of Canada and the United States in-acted policies and laws to, at times, forcibly remove Dakota children from their homes to federal and church run schools called: residential schools (Canada) or boarding schools (U.S.), were the use of the Dakota language was forbidden by strict punishment and even death. By the 1950”'s three generations of Dakota peoples had grown up the boarding and residential school system. Due to the systematic oppression inflicted on the Dakota, many were reluctant to teach their children the Dakota language (in which lies the spiritual foundation of the Dakota ways of life) in fear of reprisal from the Government(s). As a result the Dakota language is on the verge of extinction in their-own homeland. The tragic history and historical trauma of these events has lead to a diaspora of health issues that include diabetes, obesity, early death, alcoholism, drug use, heart disease and broken families. (more…)

Did You Know? CHAT

Did You Know? CHAT

The Did you Know? CHAT Team”'s mission is to get people together through Block Clubs/Events. Our hope is that these connections help prevent isolation and promote community. We are partnered with Community-University Health Care Center to provide support to clubs by sharing health information and referrals, participating in the CHAT Team and giving Block Leaders the tools they need to support the health of their block. One of our CHAT Team members is a Crime Prevention Specialist with the Police Department who partners with Did you Know? and encourages participation in the Block Leader Training and National Night Out. This was the second year we sponsored Spring Reunions, giving $50 to each block that held a gathering of neighbors. We have held one meeting with Block Club leaders this year to support their efforts in organizing events, give them information about our CHAT Team, and to find out what resources would be helpful for them to improve the health of their block. Our goal this year is to put together a TOOL KIT of resources that will provide information for leaders about health resources in the Backyard. CHAT Members include: Amy Shellabarger and John Bailey. We are always looking for more neighbors to participate in our efforts. If you are interested in participating in our CHAT Team, please contact Amy @ 612-638-0578.

OUT in the Backyard CHAT

OUT in the Backyard CHAT

The OUT in the Backyard CHAT is focusing their work and activities on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ) communities to reduce isolation, create community and foster connections in order to improve the health of individuals in our neighborhoods. Some of the activities that we have worked on in the last year to put our goals and ideals into action include: Worked with the community and a website designer to began the process of building an informational and interactive website that will provide resources and educational information. It will also be accessible to all outside the GLBTQ community so that we can increase awareness and build connections between our various communities. Sponsored several community forums to get information for the website and share resources, which included topics like: services for LGBT youth and end of life issues and the need for healthcare directives. Sponsored Booth at the annual GLBTQ Pride festival in Loring Park to promote OUT in the Backyard and to recruit community members to the CHAT. Community screening/discussion of the documentary Bullied”, a film that tells one student”'s ordeal with anti-gay bullying. Bullying is an issue that impacts many different communities, and the film helped generate dialogue among CHATs. This event took place at the Cultural Wellness Center.  (more…)

Rebirthing Community CHAT

Rebirthing Community CHAT

In 2012, the Rebirthing Community CHAT, in conjunction with Communities of Light Co-op, plans to continue our intergenerational workshops using discussions about community, self-sufficiency, sustainability and capacities for action. Our vision is to encourage families to join the Communities of Light Co-op and attain self-sufficiency and solvency by producing and selling solar lanterns, solar generators and other products and services the co-op member identifies. CHAT Members include: Dee Henry Williams, Edgar Young III Bey, Jim Cook, Khadijch Riopelke, Jimmy Johnson, and Debra Michelle. For more info click here.

Anchor Family CHAT

Anchor Family CHAT

Through the Backyard Initiative Assessment process, it became apparent that families in the BYI communities are experiencing isolation and lack of resources to sustain the health and well-being of their families. It is quite apparent that this has a direct connection to the state of turmoil and destructive behavior our youth are exhibiting. Families are feeling less and less connected to one another and to the spiritual, cultural and social resources in the community that are necessary to sustain their families. These resources include someone to talk to when things get tough, wisdom from elders and those who have survived. They also include someone to lean on when their own internal resources become limited. There is a clear need to rebuild the web of relationships that will mend the fragmentation that families are experiencing. It is also necessary to restore the family bond with our youth to increase their sense of belonging and interconnectedness. This action can shift the emphasis and public perception of our youth and reinforce their positive behaviors by connecting them to elders in the community to provide guidance and direction. Our CHAT works to solve this problem by establishing an Anchor Family on selected blocks within the 475 BYI blocks, the number and priority to be determined by the Community Commission on Health. To improve the sense of health and well being of people living in the Backyard, the Anchor Family will act as catalyst for increased interconnectedness, building community through community rituals, gatherings and relationship building activities. Anchor Families will coordinate community celebrations surrounding cultural customs, individual achievements and personal or family grief and loss. Recent activities of the Anchor Family CHAT have included a multi-generational gathering and feast on Mother”'s Day, block cleanups, barbecues, a walking club and visiting and checking in on others on the block when they haven”'t see [...]

PROJECT S.E.L.F. (Save, Educate, Liberate, Free) CHAT

PROJECT S.E.L.F. (Save, Educate, Liberate, Free) CHAT

Recent Project S.E.L.F. Annual Ice Cream Social and Free Henna Decoration Project S.E.L.F. (SAVE EDUCATE LIBERATE FREE) is an Immigrant Health CHAT group that established a program called “Nomadic Expressions” which aims to assist youth, elders and families in healthy living and artistic expressions through poetry, open microphone performances, information workshops and community dialogue. The face of immigrant youth in our society has been negative as there is often more emphasis on those engaged in negative behaviors. Immigrant youth in our community are misguided and confused by conflicting messages between mainstream society and their original cultural ways. Communication across generations is strained and challenging. Youth are not responsive to guidance from the elders and are conflicted by peer pressure. (more…)

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