Spring Newsletter 2022

by | Apr 14, 2022 | Newsletter Introduction | 0 comments

As the season transitions from Winter into Spring, we watch the shift as plants and animals awake from a state of dormancy, to blossom, to movement, to action. Similarly, our work with the Marin County HEAL Collaborative has moved from strategy, into implementation on a community level. We have developed a process for advancing food equity in Marin County by prioritizing the needs and voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Communities in efforts that promote empowerment within a community-based food system. To do so, we are seeking to co-create place-based solutions by directly involving community members living with in the Canal, Marin City, and West Marin communities. We are excited to announce the launching of three Community Action Teams (CAT) for each area, in partnership with Alcohol Justice (the Canal), the Marin County Cooperation Team (Marin City), and West Marin Community Services/San Geronimo Valley Community Center (West Marin).

Led by the County’s Nutrition & Wellness Program (NWP), we conducted a total of 26 interviews with leaders across the three communities to better understand how each community defines “Community Empowerment” and a “Community Food System”. From our findings, an equitable food system can help to address racial inequities in Marin County by promoting wealth, health within communities of color by lifting the voices of residents to make their own decisions and ensure they have the resources to implement potential priority solutions. There is also a common desire for communities to become self-sufficient within a local food economy that is independent from large corporate chains.

The work of each CAT will be supported by the HEAL Collaborative’s new Steering Committee, with 12 seats. In accordance with our Governing Principles, we met our goal of at least half of our leadership being represented by BIPOC members. We are also launching our HEAL Collaborative Communications and Evaluations Sub-Committees.

Lastly, NWP has also been able to shift our contracting to better align with the HEAL Collaborative’s food equity goals through a Request For Proposals (RFP) process. In 2021, NWP selected Community Action Marin and the Marin City Community Services District in a competitive RFP process to implement programs that support community leadership, food business development, and healthy food cultivation.

Ryan Thayer
HEAL Collaborative Co-Chair
Nutrition and Wellness Program Manager
Community Health and Prevention

Andy Naja-Riese
HEAL Collaborative Co-Chair
Chief Executive Officer
Agricultural Institute of Marin

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Want to find out more about the work of the HEAL Collaborative?

Contact our Nutrition & Wellness Program Team:

HEAL Collaborative / Steering Committee
Elaini Negussie | ENegussie@marincounty.org
Nutrition & Wellness Program Manager

Canal Community Action Team
Jesica Rodriguez | jbrodriguez@marincounty.org
Bi-Lingual Community Health Education

Marin City Community Action Team
Daeja Tillis | dtillis@marincounty.org
Senior Program Coordinator

West Marin Community Action Team
Jesica Rodriguez | jbrodriguez@marincounty.org
Food Security Program Coordinator