Women-Only Fitness is a culturally appropriate fitness class tailored to meet the needs of our communities. Specifically, the Somali women of Tukwila would not otherwise have a safe and comfortable space to exercise and work out together. It started as a fitness class but has become a community.
We are all very excited at G2L to announce that our Leadership Engagement Manager position has been filled! Please join us in welcoming Jojo Gaon to the G2L family. Jojo comes with much experience in leadership and art, including starting Youth Speaks, a youth arts and leadership development organization.
This position was created in response to several community conversations we hosted over 2016 that indicated the desire for more pathways toward leadership for underserved communities. The Leadership Pipeline program will be a collaborative process of bringing together key stakeholders to assess needs and develop solutions. Where our existing Connectors Program works toward training and employing community members to provide equitable community engagement, the Leadership Pipeline will be focused on equitable access to both civic and professional leadership opportunities.
From building the job description to the interviewing process, we have been all hands on deck – staff and community partners combined. Thanks to the whole team for your support on this process. We can’t wait to see Jojo in action!
We don’t talk much about our Jobs for Health program since our role at G2L was largely to facilitate partnerships and increase capacity for existing organizations (global health strategy #4: empower community based organizations). Lately, however, we’ve been making such exciting progress that we can’t help but share an update.
Jobs for Health is a pilot program between Upwardly Global and Highline College’s Welcome Back Center. The goal was to help skilled immigrants overcome employment barriers while educating decision-makers about skilled immigrants and helping them to adopt more effective and inclusive practices and policies. Jobs for Health specifically supports skilled healthcare employment, connecting immigrants with Swedish, HealthPoint, Providence, and Seattle-King County Public Health.
Now, here’s the really exciting part. Already this year, the program has seen 5 job placements of highly skilled immigrants and refugees with an average salary of $77,000 (global health strategy #5: link health to economic development). The effects of a program like this have already been proven to be far-reaching, influencing not just the job seekers but the employer, the economy, and society at-large. Read more about this exponential impact at Upwardly Global.
We’re partnering with The Prosperity Agenda and BECU to incorporate financial coaching and savings into the CHW health coaching (global health strategy #5: link economic development to health). TPA will be training the CHWs and BECU will be working with us to develop savings products, and possibly a lending circle. So excited for a site visit from Northwest Areas Foundation next week as they consider providing additional support to this program.
G2L first heard from Monica Davalos, a mother and long-time Tukwila resident, at a “Community Conversation” where she shared her family’s daily challenges with health. Monica’s common experiences has given her the insight that has allowed her to be successful in her role as G2L’s Latina Community Health Worker. Together with G2L, she channels the concerns and issues community members face and uses this platform to continuously listen and amplify the marginalized voices of others to bring better health to S. King County.
For more about Monica’s journey from community member to community health worker at G2L, check out: http://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/in-s-king-county-an-extraordinary-effort-to-bring-better-health/
We published an opinion piece for Devex last month that neatly summarizes our approach using our Community Health Worker program as an example of how programs evolve at G2L. With a focus on enhancing local voice in program development and implementation, G2L Executive Director Adam Taylor shares 3 key elements of success: hire and invest in local people, adapt solutions locally, and find donors who believe in community. He stresses the last element by saying “a community-led approach asks donors to also believe in the power of community, and invest in building community voice and participation.”
Read the full article at Devex.