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Creating Change Through the Power of Our Stories

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The Power of Stories is an archive of projects submitted every year to Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Statewide Convening. It showcases work created throughout California highlighting the power of individual and collective efforts to promote health and demonstrates how stories have the power to re-imagine and transform our communities. Produced in partnership with the California Endowment.

As part of its 10-year commitment to 14 communities across California, The California Endowment brings together Building Healthy Communities participants each year to celebrate and share the changes that communities are leading so that children and families and live healthy, safe and productive lives. Communities include Boyle Heights, City Heights, Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands, Eastern Coachella Valley, Fresno, Long Beach, Merced, Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, Salinas/Alisal, Santa Ana, South Kern and South Los Angeles.

This year, the annual gathering focuses on artistic and cultural aspects of community change efforts. Arts and culture are cherished because they illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotional world. They also have impact on our social well being and cohesion, our physical and mental health, our education system, and our economy. On October 11, 2014, residents, youth, and community stakeholders, including nonprofit organizations, systems leaders and policy makers, from across the state are gathering to celebrate The Power of Our Stories, an art/video/live performance festival that will feature more than 40 expressions from across California.

Youth from City Heights conducts an interview for their AJA Youth Project
Youth from City Heights conducts an interview for their AJA Youth Project

Stories have the power to help us re-imagine our and transform our lives. Through this gathering, each of the communities will tell their own stories of change through the exploration of history, resident and youth leadership, healing, and health issues central to people's lives and the neighborhoods in which they live. Neighborhoods where the power dynamics are shifting so that health can be improved and greater inclusion and equity can be achieved.

Held at the Historic General Hospital in Boyle Heights, a building that is undergoing its own transformation from a place of care and healing to one that promotes health and wellness, this gathering is attracting 175 participants. We invite you to explore the rich cultural and community treasures offered at this annual celebration and to share them with others. Here is a collection of stories from across the state that showcase the power of our individual and collective efforts to promote health.

Members of Mujeres Unidas y Activas in East Oakland perform a guerrilla theater skit exposing their work conditions
Members of Mujeres Unidas y Activas in East Oakland perform a guerrilla theater skit exposing their work conditions

Building Healthy Communities (BHC) is a 10"year, $1 billion program of The California Endowment. Fourteen communities across the state are taking action to make where they live healthier. They're doing this by improving employment opportunities, education, housing, neighborhood safety, unhealthy environmental conditions, access to healthy foods and more.

The goal is to create places where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Ultimately, we're aiming at nothing less than a revolution in the way all of us think about and support health for all Californians. Learn more at www.calendow.org

Watch a video playlist of the submitted project here.

Children in the Arvin Union School District have breakfast in the classroom to get them prepared for their school day
Children in the Arvin Union School District have breakfast in the classroom to get them prepared for their school day

 

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