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We aspire to eliminate the many unjust practices including but not limited to institutional and structural racism, sexism, classism, ableism and homophobia amongst others that serve to create and maintain health disparities within marginalized communities. By responding to the health and wellbeing needs of our diverse communities, we aim to improve the quality of life for individuals at local, national, and international levels.
We aim to address the social determinant of health, dismantle health inequities and promote healthcare justice in order to foster community health and well-being
To bring this vision into reality, our strategies and solutions must be practical, context-specific, and informed by the affected communities and by research. The mission of the SCRA Community Health Interest Group (CHIG) is to support its members in their ongoing work by providing a forum for discussion, collaboration, consultation, resource development, and knowledge-sharing. The SCRA CHIG fosters a sense of community among its members due in part to a shared commitment to attend to the broader social and historical context of the issues being explored.
We aim to realise this vision by uncovering the intricate mechanisms that underpin the many health and wellbeing compromising practices amongst our diverse communities. By networking and sharing good practice of sustainable, evidence -based and community-informed initiatives from around the globe, we aim to foster meaningful, context-specific solutions to empower individuals and their communities to live happier and healthier lives. Accordingly, the mission of the SCRA CHIG is to expand and support its members in their ongoing work by providing a forum for discussion, collaboration, consultation and resource development.
Health Equity and Social Justice: So long as health systems yield different outcomes for different people based on geography, race-ethnicity, gender and effectual identities, socioeconomic status, etc. it is inequitable. Equity means establishing conditions in all communities for all individuals that create open opportunities for engagement; ensure access to the same privileges of health, well-being, self-determination and quality of life; and honour the inherent dignity of every human being.
Community driven: To changehealth outcomes among people living in vulnerable social conditions, activities need to be community driven. Taking an upstream approach to community health, change activities must be community driven and attempt to eliminate social structures that deny certain people voice, power and political influence to alter their health futures and positively affect social determinants.
Cultural Humility: Health equity and justice must be guided by cultural humility. Cultural humility is defined as a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and critique to address power dynamics between the health researcher/practitioner and community member/end-user, as well as develop mutually beneficial and non-paternalistic partnerships with communities on behalf of individuals and defined by populations. Principles of cultural humility include:
1. Lifelong learning and critical reflection.
2. Recognize and change power dynamics.
3. Develop mutually beneficial partnerships.
4. Institutional accountability.
This daily process of self-study and openness is critical to ensure the health and wellness of diverse communities.
Sense of connectedness: Changing health outcomes and expanding health equity and justice must be focused through building a sense of connectedness among practitioners and health equity scholars, as well as community members who are directly affected by policy, practice and research.
“Of all forms of discrimination and inequalities, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman”. Dr Martin Luther King
Developing a sense of connectedness among community members means fostering a sense of membership, influence, and emotional connection to the community, as well as the development of positive health and wellness outcomes.
Removing barriers to health services and equity means that practitioners and researchers need to dismantle hierarchical systems that eliminate opportunities for fostering connectedness and belongingness, as well as perpetuate health injustice and inequity.
We should strive to build coalitions between and among community members to eliminate the siloed work of health equity and justice. We should also envision a participatory approach where practitioners and scholars work to resolve tensions and engage in collaborative work with community members to build not only belongingness but also health equity and justice.
Join our listserv: The Community Health Interest Group listserv allows you to stay up-to-date on all communications among members of the Community Health Interest Group. To join, please email email@example.com and ask to be added.
Call in to our quarterly meetings: The Community Health Interest Group will be meeting four times a year, in June, September, December and March. Due to the current covid-19 restrictions, these meetings will be scheduled via our listserv. On each quarterly call, we will discuss ongoing and future activities and projects for the group. Specific dates and times of each quarterly call will vary, so as to not routinely exclude the same individuals (e.g., if folks teach/work on Monday afternoons, and meetings are routinely held on Monday afternoons, they would always miss the meeting). Dates and times for upcoming meetings will be announced on the Community Health Interest Group listserv, as well as the SCRA listserv. All are welcome, and encouraged, to join.
Participate in our forthcoming: Discussion Series: Biennial 2021 will be the Community Health Interest Group’s inaugural meeting. At the meeting, group members will have an opportunity to discuss any mutual interests that will help to realise our vision and mission, and learn about one another’s work/interests. The forthcoming discussion series will provide an opportunity to lay the foundations of future collaborative projects. We may have a single presenter each time we gather, or a series of presentations/discussion. While the precise nature of each gathering may look different, the overall purpose and value-added remains the same: to build a collaborative learning community that is not restricted to the academic domain. All are welcome to join, and to present/discuss their ideas. Dates and times for upcoming discussion meetings and presentations will be announced on the Community Health Interest Group listserv.
Contact the committee members: Want to learn more about the group, get involved, get an answer to a question, or provide feedback and suggestions? Please contact the Community Health Interest Group Co-chairs:
Dr Krishna Bhatti: Krishna.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr David Lardier: email@example.com
Dr Venoncia Bate-Ambrus firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvy Bhatti: email@example.com