Redesigning Power Structures

The Redesigning Power Structures initiative will intervene at the level of governance or decision-making in institutions to craft more inclusive structures that welcome people most impacted by health inequities to be involved in governance decisions that directly affect their lives.

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The Redesigning Power Structures Project

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health funded this project through the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds. CES and 31 other organizations across Massachusetts and more than 35 of their community partners, including non-profit community-based organizations, municipalities, and regional planning commissions shared in the opportunity to implement their strategies committing to leading efforts to address the root causes of health inequities by disrupting systemic barriers to health and tackling institutional and structural racism head-on.

Approach

The CES project will work with community partners to increase awareness and address the impact of structural racism on population health, and to create long-term, meaningful changes in population health outcomes, including mental health and chronic disease. 

Working in partnership with municipalities, agencies and community residents, the program will include grassroots leadership development as well as organizational transformation to work towards a shared power model. 

 

High school classmates clasping hands in solidarity

I am excited about this work because it will provide an opportunity to promote greater representation, voice, participation, and power for people who have traditionally been left out of decision-making processes that most impact their lives. Intervening at the level of governance directly addresses the power imbalance that contributes to inequities in our communities and offers an opportunity for creating “power-with” models of governance as opposed to “power-over” models which are predominant in our society.

— S. Clarke Bankert, Senior Manager, Community Inclusion Strategies

Today and historically, young people are standing up for racial justice, climate change, voting and other critical issues that impact their wellbeing and futures. Redesigning Power Structures values youth leadership and places youth and community resident leadership at the heart of planning and project development to address the social determinants of health, health equity, and structural racism. To do this successfully we will also be partnering with community boards, municipal leaders and other decision-makers to increase capacity to engage with and incorporate community members and youth involvement in policy-making.

— Heather Warner, SPIFFY Coalition Coordinator

S. Clarke Bankert, MPH

Clarke Bankert (she/her/they/them) is the Senior Manager for Community Inclusion Strategies, and in this role she facilitates a variety of community-led processes to promote healthy communities, shift power to people most impacted by health inequities, and dismantle systems of oppression that concentrate power in the hands of the few. Prior to this role, she managed Healthy Hampshire for eight years and has worked in the field of public health for over a dozen years to create healthier communities by supporting community-led processes for change. She has been involved in all aspects of the change process, including assessment and data collection, program design, program implementation, evaluation and organizational capacity building. Through each of these elements, Clarke brings a passion for community-led efforts that center the voices and actions of people who experience the greatest burden of health inequities in our communities. Prior to her work at CES, Clarke was a Prevention Specialist with the Western Massachusetts Center for Healthy Communities, a program of Cooley Dickinson Hospital supporting regional public health efforts. While at the Center for Healthy Communities she conducted the first Community Health Needs Assessment for the hospital and provided technical assistance on community food systems to the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council.

Position: Senior Manager, Community Inclusion Strategies

Email: cbankert@collaborative.org

Phone: 4135864900

Alice Levine

Ms. Levine, M.Ed., is a consultant to programs interested in strengthening their engagement of families. For 25 years, she has taught math and literacy to adult learners, helped parents build their capacity to support children’s learning, developed new programs, and provided staff training.

Position: Inclusive Engagement Specialist

Email: tsogoba@collaborative.org

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