Across the country the movement for equity, community, and justice is growing. CA4Health believes that increased collaboration, fostering non-traditional partnerships, and tackling tough challenges together will create impactful, lasting change in California. It is in this spirit that we are excited to announce People.Power.Change!, a series of connected sessions to embody and bring this principle to life and to allow you to add your voice for change.
Upon completion of the series, you and your cohort will:
  • Highlight and address local and regional priorities and opportunities to take action
  • Learn about the state legislative process
  • Learn how to connect with elected officials and other decision-makers
  • Utilize a variety of methods to share your voice and stories with elected officials
  • Build relationships locally and statewide
  • Have fun!
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stand together, speak out, and promote sustainable change for health, equity, and justice!

Visit the PEOPLE.POWER.CHANGE! to register now!

Last year, CA4Health initiated a number of processes to determine the top issue areas of interest for members of our Community of Practice. When it comes to public health, Food Justice was an overwhelming priority for action and shared learning. As we kick off 2017, we wanted to hear from some leaders in this area of work to gather their perspectives on Food Justice, social movements, and the year ahead. 


Interview Highlights:
1. What does Food Justice mean to you and your work?
JJ: Food Justice really means access to participation in the imagining of your community. Taken a bit further, we get into switching from Food Justice to Food Sovereignty – including access to decision-making around natural resources. 
PJ: To us, Food Justice means transforming the food system in a way that democratizes access to affordable, nutritious food, expands job opportunities for historically disenfranchised people, and ensures environmental sustainability. We believe that nutritious food is a human right, not a commodity, luxury or status symbol.
MD: Food Justice is a tool to overcome the social determinants of health. Food Justice is a means to end the historical systems of structural oppression that have kept people of color and low income white folk from accessing and affording healthy food and receiving living wages for their labor in the agricultural and food sector. Food Justice is achieved by helping isolated or underserved communities to build new structures that end the oppression and allow access, enable purchase and render higher wages.
EM: Food Justice to me means consciously working in a space and within a framework that acknowledges and addresses institutional and historical oppressions in our food system and builds community-owned solutions towards systemic positive change.
2. What makes working in the area of Food Justice unique in 2017?
PJ: 2017 is an exciting - albeit sometimes terrifying - time to be alive and working for justice in the United States. One of our early mottos at Planting Justice is, “Compost the Empire” - and we believe that the empire is indeed beginning to die. We want to seize this opportunity to work with everyday folks to take the food system back from corporations that exploit our health, our communities, our labor, and our planet - before it’s too late.
EM: Food Justice is a framework for change that gives attention to the following: oppressions (race, class, gender), community engagement, economic justice for the disenfranchised, cultural relevancy, environmental sustainability, and the notion that we all have the right to healthy affordable food in order to thrive. These values are currently being challenged at a societal level. Working towards Food Justice is imperative now more than ever in order to demand new policies/programs and protect existing policies that support fairness in our food system.
3. From your perspective, how does Food Justice offer broad opportunities for traditional health partners to engage in equity movements that advocate for economic and social justice as well?
JJ: We must bravely, together, address these challenges that are at the core of our history – and recognize that these movements are not separate. They tie back to the history of the United States and the settling of agriculture on this continent. Food Justice and Black Lives Matter, Food Justice and rights for immigrants regardless of religion, Food Justice and the protection of trans lives, Food Justice and climate justice-- these are all linked. It is our task to remind and remember, all of us, the importance of making these linkages, and in the wellbeing of our people – one is not without the other.
EM: A Food Justice orientation to doing community/public health work offers advocates an opportunity to get at the root of things. Educating people on healthy lifestyle changes is important. Co-creating a built environment that provides easy access to a healthy lifestyle is also important. But perhaps most important, in my view, is creating opportunities for more community-level power to define problems and solutions from within.
4. What do you see as the role of community leadership in this work?
JJ: Community voices and leaders have always been the ones carrying these dialogues forward. Sometimes we can rely on political and educational institutions to work in partnership with us, but when it comes to access to food for all, this work has been led by grassroots organizations and women in particular - they play a critical role and are to be honored especially by those who do not approach such work from an experiential space. 
MD: Without community leadership the initiatives to improve Food Justice will fail because they will not be authentic or legitimate, which means they will not be embraced by communities needing to be served…Community leadership is essential.
5. What do you see as the most critical points of action in the year ahead to advance/support Food Justice issues?
PJ: In the year ahead, we are focused on 3 priorities: 1. Building more gardens for more people; 2. Helping disenfranchised communities get access to land which they can use to feed and house themselves; 3. Promoting holistic re-entry programs to eliminate recidivism.
MD: Increased funding is essential as well as increased commitment to policy advocacy and intervention. We need a [501]C4 and willingness to wade into the hardball politics required to shift the priorities of legislators.
For full interview responses, click HERE.


​Web Forum: At the Nexus of Health and Housing: Innovative California Approaches​ 

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
10:30AM – 12:00PM Pacific Time


Issues related to housing are influencing conversations all across California, including those about health. Organizations and institutions are finding new ways to identify, connect, and address housing and health issues to meet these challenges to equitable outcomes. Please join CA4Health for a Web Forum to hear how innovative approaches in California are bringing these two issue areas together for greater impact.
This Web Forum will include highlights from:
  • East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation’s (EBALDC) efforts to incorporate and address the broader social determinants of health; 
  • Alameda County Public Health Department’s chronic disease and health equity in housing efforts; and
  • San Diego County’s integration of Housing and Community Development into the Health and Human Services Agency
You are invited to join this informative and interactive event, which is made possible by funding from The California Endowment. Registration is free and open to anyone interested in participating. Click HERE to register.


An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System: Fourth Edition

This annotated bibliography provides current research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system for the food system practitioner, researcher, and educator. Structural racism in the United States has been defined as the “normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics—historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal—that routinely advantage whites while producing cumulative and chronic outcomes for people of color.”

Click HERE to download.

Housing California's 2017 Annual Conference presents "Block by Block: Improving Neighborhood Health," a multisector event on affordable homes and homelessness solutions

Housing California's 2017 Annual Conference focuses on the premise that where we live affects our health and well-being. The event brings together 1,300 attendees in the industries of affordable homes, homelessness, health, finance, social work and community development for the largest conference of its kind March 8-10 in Sacramento to find solutions that purposefully improve health for all Californians.

Click HERE to register.



Racial Justice Fellowship

Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, or CoFED, is a national network and training program that supports students to develop food cooperatives on college and university campuses. We are seeking applicants for our inaugural Racial Justice Fellowship, created for young people (age 18-30) who practice transformative leadership to innovate and impact racial justice and community ownership in the food system. Anyone can apply, and priority will be given to applicants who are people of color, Native, working class, LGBTQ2S, people with disabilities, immigrants, formerly incarcerated, people with dependents, women and returning students.We invite applicants to propose Fellowship Projects that advance racial justice and community ownership in the food system. Click HERE for more information

SBHCs Will Benefit Thousands of Kids

What better way to celebrate School-Based Health Awareness Month than to share that the Fresno Unified School District Board of Supervisors on February 8 approved six new school-based health centers (SBHCs) to benefit nearly 7,000 students.


Fresno opened its first school-based health center at Gaston Middle School in 2014. The six new sites will be operated in partnership with Clinica Sierra Vista and Valley Children's Healthcare and are planned for Addams and Bakman elementary schools; Tehipite and Sequoia middle schools; and Duncan Polytechnic and Sunnyside high schools.

See more in a video of the press event and on the Fresno Bee website.


Committed leaders invited to apply for Health Leadership Program

Sierra Health Foundation’s Health Leadership Program strengthens the skills of leaders in nonprofit organizations and public agencies whose mission is dedicated to improving health and quality of life in their communities.Sierra Health is pleased to continue the program in 2017 and invite current and emerging leaders in Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley to apply. Successful applicants will be in organizations that work to improve community health and well-being and reduce health disparities across a broad range of issue areas that address the social determinants of health, such as education, employment, access to health services, population health, social services, environment, housing, youth development and juvenile justice. Applications are due on April 24 by noon. Learn more and download the brochure and application materials on the Health Leadership Program web page.

CA4Health, a Public Health Institute Program, made possible
with funding from The California Endowment