Our Work

What We Have Accomplished

  • Created a space for learning across sectors.  We have partnerships with organizations that may not necessary have come together with out BBC biding for organizations to come.
  • Developed a collective agenda in our BBC Bill of Rights
  • Identified 3 strategy areas to start our work: Healthy Food, Healthy Economy, and Healthy Youth and Families, and launched three grant-funded projects in these areas
  • Brought in over $1 million private foundation dollars (from 2010-2013) and matched it with more local funds –most of this going to community partners
  • Hosted several private funders and national public health organizations looking to change their work who want to be informed by us!
  • Supported youth-led businesses to improve the healthy food environment in West Oakland and Ashland-Cherryland: Mandela Marketplace youth who are stocking corner stores with fresh produce and Dig Deep Farms youth grow produce and distribute food boxes
  • Worked with Local health centers write healthy food “prescriptions” to refer pregnant women to these fresh food resources, and provide healthy eating education
  • Home Visiting Evaluation Completed in Spring 2011

Our Framework – The Life Course Perspective

Based on health and development research, The Life Course Perspective (LCP) perceives life as one integrated continuum.  It recognizes how multiple sectors – healthcare, community, physical & economic environment, and education – influence a child’s health during critical periods of development.  The LCP also examines how risk and protective factors accumulate over time to affect lifetime health development.

The LCP emphasizes the impact of “place” – how where you live determines not only your everyday health status, but influences your overall life expectancy as well.  The data shows that many risk factors come together in a “perfect storm” in some neighborhoods, impacting the health of communities for generations.  The LCP suggests that a paradigm shift must occur to eliminate health inequities: we must create the social conditions for health, especially during critical time periods of development.

The life course perspective framework


Our Call to Action – Health Inequities in Alameda County

Data shows…

1/3 of our newborns start life in poverty.  That is 7,000 children born into poverty in Alameda County each year.

Furthermore, these births are concentrated in low-income neighborhoods that experience a number of health, social, and economic inequalities.  We also know that years of structural racism has meant that African-Americans are disproportionately represented in these communities.

All of these factors add up to a lower overall life expectancy.

Download our full here.


How We Work

The Building Blocks Collaborative meets from 9am-12pm on the 4th Friday of every month at various locations in Alameda County.  Every meeting starts with a 8:30am orientation for new members.

Leading our work is a steering committee made up of members governing the work of both the internal Alameda County Public Health Department Life Course Initiative as well as the Building Blocks Collaborative.  Additionally, our members join a number of committees to advance certain aspects of our work between meetings.  We currently convene an Agenda Planning Committee, a Roadshow (Communications) Committee, and project based ad-hoc committees.

Our BBC steering committee members are as follows:

  • Wendy Calimag (Girls Inc)
  • Mariela Cedoño (Mandela marketPlace)
  • Michelle Grant Groves (OUSD)
  • Keisha Nzewi (Alameda County Food Bank)
  • Kiko Malin (ACPHD)


  • Bina Shrimali (ACPHD)
  • Jessica Luginbuhl (ACPHD)

To learn more about Alameda County Public Health’s Department commitment to Health and Social Equity work, visit our Department’s page at: http://www.acphd.org/social-and-health-equity.aspx .

Building Blocks for Health Equity (BB4HE) Charter

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