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Grantee Spotlight: Advancing Health Justice

Aug 15, 2023

As part of our new strategic plan launched this year, Interact for Health recently announced over $3.7M in grant funding to address these priority areas:

  • Mental Health Equity ($1.3M): Improving culturally competent care and access to mental health services and support among adults and youth within Interact for Health’s priority populations: Black and Hispanic, LGBTQ+, low-income families and rural communities.
  • Advancing Health Justice ($2M): Supporting community efforts to advance health justice through community power building, policy and systems change and narrative change.
  • Amplifying Youth Voice ($500K): Supporting youth-serving organizations to increase youth voice in strengthening mental health services.

Now, we’re delighted to highlight the 18 community organizations that will be receiving grants as part of our Advancing Health Justice initiatives.

These community partners share one of our core values: we tackle root causes. We believe that to create and sustain healthy conditions for our community, we must first address the underlying inequities that cause vast differences in lifespan and health outcomes. Achieving equity—providing services and support to address inequities—is important, but not enough. We must go a step further and pursue health justice to eliminate the discrimination and other barriers that prevent people from living their healthiest life.

Our region lags the nation in how long and how well we live; many of our neighborhoods are grappling with significant and persistent health disparities fueled by discriminatory policies and systems. This wave of grant funding aims to make a difference throughout the fabric of our region, through community power-building, policy and systems change and narrative change.

A Picture’s Worth is one of the organizations that received funding through this wave of Advancing Health Justice grants. Executive and Creative Director Elissa Yancey explained the significance of their systems change work, which will offer new ways of thinking about neighbors’ expertise and ability to address systemic barriers together.

“At A Picture's Worth, we believe that the stories we share shape the world in which we live. Our entire theory of change rests on the belief that when we change our narratives -- when we center communities' strengths and values first -- we can then more fully embrace the work of changing the systems that have for too long limited our communities' ability to thrive,” said Yancey.

Please join us in congratulating the following grant recipients, who will be leading the charge to ensure health justice for all in our community. We’re grateful to partner with organizations with the same mission to help every person in our region live their healthiest life, no matter who they are or where they live.

  • A Picture's Worth, Inc. ($170K)
    A Picture’s Worth Community Collaborations: Creating powerful, community-centric counter-narratives offers new ways of thinking about neighbors’ expertise and abilities to address systemic issues as they increase hope and understanding across the community, leading to increased engagement and leadership development.
  • Brighton Properties ($100K)
    Building Community Support for Housing: Brighton Properties aims to build community will for necessary housing and create strategies for improving policies, with the long-term goal of improving health equity through housing and its impact on the social determinants of health.
  • Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati ($115K)
    Dr. Jenny Laster Community Engagement Academy: This program teaches the fundamentals of community engagement and advocacy that lay the foundation for future change-makers.
  • Cradle Cincinnati and Queens Village ($105K)
    Powering Queens Village Advisory Boards: Providing Cradle Cincinnati and other stakeholders with direct feedback from the community will improve healthcare systems. Board members are Black women across generations, classes, experiences and education who answer the call to leadership to serve and represent their community.
  • City of Forest Park ($200K)
    Project R.E.A.C.H: (Resiliency.Engagement/Education.Advocacy.Community/Communication.Health): "Intergenerational interventions" within families and residents will help the development and sharing of culturally and linguistically appropriate health information and create trusted communication sources and centralized locations to improve the quality of life for the community.
  • Communities United for Action ($100K) 
    Environmental Justice and Affordable Sewers for All: This program will directly assist homeowners impacted by overland flooding and create a comprehensive plan to manage increased stormwater to protect vulnerable homes from suffering further damage. 
  • Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless ($100K)
    Affordable Housing Now!: This initiative is working toward the eradication of homelessness with respect for the dignity and diversity of its membership, people experiencing homelessness and the community.
  • Green Umbrella ($100K)
    Climate Justice Is Health Justice: Strengthening Environmental Impact Across Greater Cincinnati: The goal of this program is to help more communities kickstart and accelerate climate planning and food system resilience, by engaging community partners and residents, elevating their voices, and co-designing solutions and implementation strategies to combat climate change on a regional scale.
  • Groundwork Ohio River Valley ($64K)
    Micro Projects for Macro Change in Air Quality: Fueling resident power by showcasing projects wherein air quality is monitored after installation, and creating an air quality monitoring network will better inform residents and equip them with an advocacy tool for policy changes.
  • One Community One Family ($128K)

    This grant will support a staff member dedicated to reducing stigma around seeking help for mental health in rural communities. They will work alongside community partners to ensure a supportive, coordinated and visible community presence.

  • Price Hill Will ($35K)
    Price Hill Wellness Community Action Team: This grant will support the expansion and sustainability of the Price Hill Wellness Community Action Team, which provides yoga classes that are free, accessible, and walkable for members of the Price Hill Community.   
  • Safety Council of Southwestern Ohio ($115K)
    OHIZ Expansion Project - Middletown Connect: Expanding two contiguous census tracts labeled as vulnerable will build community power, change the narrative to facilitate policy and system change, and amplify residents’ voices.  
  • School Board School ($69K)
    Healthy Schools + Healthy Neighborhood: Building a Coalition for Change: Investing in the development of future education advocates who reflect the diversity of our community’s children will build a truly representative, informed and sustainable coalition working together to ensure every child can succeed in school and in life through intentional programming and opportunities to impact policy.
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses ($75K)
    West End MOVES (Motivated Organized Vocalized and Empowered for Success): Endeavoring to identify, engage, empower and mobilize vulnerable residents who desire change in the West End, with a focus on residents at risk of displacement, legacy residents, those under-represented in decision-making, disengaged/traumatized residents and residents living in public housing will lead to increased housing stability.   
  • The Center for Great Neighborhoods ($115K)
    Eastern Neighborhoods of Covington Youth Initiative: This program will create opportunities for youth to improve their physical, social, mental and economic health.
  • The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation ($88K)
    Prioritizing Reproductive Healthcare Access to Improve Economic Self-Sufficiency: This program will collaborate with trusted research partners to analyze the economic impact of barriers to reproductive healthcare access and contribute novel, essential information to understanding the unintended effects of restricting healthcare access.
  • Working In Neighborhoods ($115K)
    Beekman Corridor Farmers’ Market Incubator for Future Food Access: Working in neighborhoods will help residents develop the knowledge, skills, partnerships, resources and processes the community needs to establish the Beekman Corridor Farmer’s Market.
  • YWCA of Greater Cincinnati Inc. ($192K)
    YWCA Cincinnati Racial Justice Strategic Development and Resource Plan: Developing a community-driven, sustainable and actionable plan advances the mission of eliminating racism in Adams, Brown, Clermont and Hamilton counties.

For more information and updates on grantee work, please subscribe to our Health Watch Newsletter and follow Interact for Health on social media (FacebookLinkedInTwitter). 

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