Planning Updates

Building Blocks Meeting & Committee Minutes

Monthly Summaries

NB: We are adjusting our website procedures to send future planning updates out as Blog Posts like this one.  Planning Updates will therefore now reach you through our Blog Email Listserv and will be stored for future reference under the blog category “Planning Updates.” This can be found by scrolling down the page to the right sidebar section “Read by Category” and then clicking “Planning Updates.”  We will soon migrate all of our previous planning updates to this location as well.  Please bear with us as we continue to make improvements to our site, and never hesitate to reach out if you have trouble finding anything.  More to come!

BBC Planning Updates:

March 28 2014 BBC Meeting

Mona Shah, Community Partnerships Manager at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) was our March meeting host.  Niva Flor, Special Projects Coordinator, and Mona gave us an overview of OMCA Connect.  “OMCA Connect brings together community members, professional artists, community-based organizations, and Museum staff to create participatory arts projects in community spaces and surrounding neighborhoods. The Oakland Rover, OMCA’s “mobile museum,” is one of the many tools used.”

We then spent time in our learning and action labs. The learning lab “Strength in the Face of Adversity: Responding to Trauma in our Community” featured Dr. Deborrah Bremond (Sr. Mental Health Consultant with Early Intervention Services at Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland) and Cindy Hill-Ford (Mental Health Director, Catholic Charities of the East Bay).  Deborrah gave an overview of the impact of trauma in child development and Cindy discussed local, community-based approaches. The action lab focused on the design thinking question:  “How might we respond to community trauma?”and allowed time for reflection, multi-sector brainstorming, and report back.  A myriad of innovative, actionable ideas were brainstormed by the multi-sector teams including creating parent cafes focused on community trauma and formation of a policy workgroup/delegation!

The meeting wrapped up with announcements, which included staying tuned for Best Babies Zone mini-grants in the Castlemont neighborhood of East Oakland! Interested in finding out more? Contact:

March 29 2013 Meeting

Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) Director & Health Officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, gave a warm welcome to all members who were present. He discussed the use of the Life Course model in public health planning efforts that are underway, including accreditation.  He also lauded BBC for being truly multi-sector and for tackling important social determinant of health issues.

Kristin Spanos, Deputy Director, and Lisa Forti, Director of Policy, from Alameda County’s Social Services Agency (SSA) were our hosts.  They explained SSA’s traditional role as a social safety net.  They are now reassessing their effectiveness as an organization by 1) ensuring that the enrolled families are being served well and 2) building the capacity to strategically develop resources.  SSA is working to make strategic decisions regarding the flow of investment in access while keeping the ability to respond to areas and conditions of high need.

The next portion of the meeting linked early childhood and economic development through a presentation from a mother involved in Prosperity Project’s Photovoice Project and a discussion led by a panel of local community economic development experts.  Bina Shrimali of ACPHD explained how early childhood success is connected to economic development, which is why it will be one focus in Best Babies Zone.  To achieve a strong workforce we must make early childhood investment a priority as it is an integral part of rebuilding our economy.  Antoinette, from the Photovoice Project, described a picture she took of a charter school that was built next to a liquor store.  She noted that through Photovoice she has “learned to go out and find the people who will tell a story that leads to the breakdowns, to show what will lead to a better situation.”

Next, the panelists discussed community economic development in Oakland.  The panel was composed of Jeff Butler of AnewAmerica, Mariela Cedeño of Mandela MarketPlace, Hannah Dithrich of Grameen America, and Naldo Peliks of Centro Community Partners.  Each speaker answered a series of questions posed by the moderator, Rebecca Flournoy, and by the BBC member audience.  Lastly, small group discussions ensued, focusing on how each BBC organization does community economic development and how this information could be used in Best Babies Zone.

BBC Minutes 3.29.2013

4.1.13_Best Babies Zone Castlemont Neighborhood Snapshot

BBZ 2013 Objectives

Econ and Early Ch Dev – BBC 3.29.13

January 25 2013 Meeting

Michelle Grant-Groves 0-8 (P-3) Early Education Coordinator at Oakland Unified School District hosted Building Blocks Collaborative at the Marcus Foster school campus for  the first meeting of the year.  Michelle shared the OUSD strategic plan and various projects and priorities of the District.  Information included details on the African American Male Achievement office, the focus on the cradle to career pathway, which includes a strong focus on positive transitions and getting all their students reading at grade level by third grade.

The next portion of the meeting was spent on the BBC’s and Best Babies Zone’s theories of change.  Bina reminded folks of BBC’s two tiered strategy: 1) on-going partner engagement, 2) focus on a collective impact project and Keisha Nzewi demonstrated how the BBZ opportunity is one that all BBC members can collaborate on.  Jessica introduced an exercise on values and guiding principles for BBZ and small groups spent time formulating those and shared them back with the group.  After final approval, these values and principles will be integrated into BBZ planning.

Next, Rachel Paras, Food to Families manager introduced mini-grantees from the past 6-months cycle.  Hilary Bass from DSAL, and Nailah Hunter from Brighter Beginnings and Barbara Finnin from City Slickers Farms shared a myriad of accomplishments from their mini-grants collaborations.  Lastly, BBC members made announcements including the need for volunteers at both VITA sites and for the Hunger in America 2014 survey, and how to sign up for the 20th annual East Bay Regional Park Trails Challenge!

 2012-BBC Meeting Summary

November 2012-BBC Meeting Summary

Kelly Moor with Heart to Heart Program from Lifelong Medical hosted Building Blocks Collaborative at the last meeting of the year.  Kelly told us about Heart to Heart, which focuses on issues relating to hypertension and heart disease.

The next portion of the meeting was spent on a Best Babies Zone design thinking activity, led by Jaspal Sandhu  and Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami of the Gobee Group.  Design thinking aims for practical, creative solutions to problems or issues that look for an improved future result. Next, Rachel Paras, Food to Families manager, gave an update on the next session of Food to Families mini-grants (due January 4) and several previous participants discussed the positive outcomes mini-grants have led to in the focus communities.

Lastly, the end of the meeting was bittersweet, marked with endings and new beginnings.  We said goodbye to various steering committee members (Marge Deichman-ACPHD, Dana Harvey- Mandela Marketplace, Barbara McCullough- Brighter Beginnings  Anita Siegel-ACPHD), as well as to Anita Siegel our unrelenting champion of BBC.  After 22 years of faithful service to ACPHD, Anita retired on December 7!  New Steering Committee members (Wendy Calimag-Girls Inc. , Mariela Cedoño-Mandela Marketplace, Michelle Grant Groves-OUSD, Susana Morales Konishi- Youth UpRising, Keisha Nzewi-Alameda County Community Food Bank) were also warmly welcomed!

F2F Minigrant Application Final – Cycle 3-2013

BBC Minutes 11.30.12

September 2012-BBC Meeting Summary

September was BBC’s third birthday! This month’s collaborative meeting was hosted by Kari McVeigh, Superintendent of New Haven Unified School District.  Kari told us about the Union City Kids Zone. The Kid Zone is based on the Promise Neighborhood and the Harlem Children’s Zone.  The core philosophy centers on community and youth engagement and development.

Next we announced that Steering Committee applications are being accepted, gave project updates and spent some time presenting Best Babies Zone.  Bina explained that the BBZ project will be based in Castlemont and is in Phase One, which will focus on: needs assessment, community engagement and development of an organizational structure.

Finally, participants were able to spend time taking the BBZ ideas that were generated last time in our core areas (health, education, physical and economic environment, community) and put them into various quadrants including, high, low impact and high, low investment.  The groups then reported back to the large group, namely on high impact and low investment.  This discussion will continue at our next meeting.

BBC minutes 09.28.2012

Best Babies Zone Location

BBZ Presentation 09.28.12

July 2012-BBC Meeting Summary

This month, BBC met at Temescal Beach House (thanks Elizabeth at East Bay Regional Park District!). ACPHD Director, Anita Siegel, kicked off the meeting with introductions and recognition to BBC for winning the award for best practices from NACCHO!

For this meeting’s member spotlight, UC Berkeley-UCSF student, Jessica Chow shared her work in the Joint Medical Program and why addressing health and wealth inequities is important to her, focusing on her Prosperity Project photovoice study.  She spoke of how her passion for advocating for health and becoming a doctor is rooted her experience growing up in Oakland and the hardships she and her family faced when she was young.

Next, we shared the BBC survey results and recommendations from the BBC steering committee retreat and everyone weighed in on ways to improve BBC’s operational structure to best meet our goals. We wrapped up with a quick activity where everyone shared ideas and resources for the up and coming Best Babies Zone project under the four main areas: education, economic and physical environment, community and healthcare.

BBC minutes 07.27.12

Jessica Chow 07.27.12

May 2012-BBC Meeting Summary

BBC was hosted this month by the Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League (DSAL), and we met at the MLK Shoreline Center (thanks Elizabeth at East Bay Regional Park District!). We learned about the inspiring work DSAL is doing to advance healthy food and physical activity opportunities for residents in Ashland-Cherryland in order to prevent crime and ensure the health of the community.

Next we received a year two update on the Food to Families project, learned about exciting cycle one mini-grantee projects (see presentation below), and launched our second cycle of minigrants (see application below), encouraging partners to apply for seed funding to collaborate on innovative projects! The deadline for this is July 11.

Finally we talked about the limited attendance at the BBC dialogue on Race, Power, and Privilege. Those who attended attested to the benefit of the dialogue, and we discussed the challenges of limited time or last minute issues that prevent attendance as well as the need for trust and safety to discuss the topics. Members affirmed the need for each of us to understand our role in promoting or undoing the systems of oppression in place, and the need to continue this dialogue.

BBC minutes 05.25.12

Food to Families Year 2 Update

Minigrant Application

April 2012-BBC Meeting Summary

BBC participated in a dialogue about Race, Power and Privilege for the Month of April.

Race Dialogue BBC 042712

March 2012-BBC Meeting Summary

BBC met at Youth UpRising in East Oakland this month. ACPHD Director, Anita Siegel, kicked off the meeting with introductions. Anita introduced “dreamer, thinker, and doer,” Olis Simmons, President & CEO of Youth UpRising, who gave a passionate spotlight presentation. She noted that YU is a different kind of non-profit, having been incubated within a public system with a narrow scope of work that focuses on community economic development, system change, and personal transformation of youth in East Oakland. For more information on Youth UpRising, which will be celebrating its 7th year in May, visit  Bina Shrimali and Jessica Luginbuhl made a few announcements, including a discussion about future BBC Meeting set-up allotting more time for workgroup projects. Finally, after some time for networking, the workgroups convened to discuss their 2012 work plans. To see more detail, take a look at the minutes!

BBC minutes 3-23-12

BBC 2012 Workplan

Steering Committee minutes 4-05-12

February 2012 – BBC Meeting Summary

BBC met at Girls, Inc. in Oaklandthis month. ACPHD Director, Anita Siegel, and Lifelong Medical Care’s Courtney Supple kicked off the meeting this month, reminding us how important it is to work together to better the lives of the 7,000 children born into poverty in Alameda County. Wendy Calimag gave the Girls, Inc. spotlight presentation whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong through healthy living, smart through education, and bold through independence. See for more information.  Bobby Stahl, Bina Shrimali, and Alex Desautels gave an introduction to the Prosperity Project, a Robert Wood Johnson funded grant. Its main goal is to achieve health equity by adjusting wealth equity. The Prosperity Project is working toward investing in communities in a way that helps build wealth and provide an opportunity to protect income and build financial assets through three channels:  policy, education, and service delivery.  In addition to a Race, Power, Privilege teaser activity, the remainder of the meeting focused on developing a 2012 work plan and timeline. Check out the minutes to see what was discussed in more detail!

BBC 02-24-12 Minutes

Girls Inc Continuum of Programs pipeline 05.18.11

GIAC Overview Presentation 02.24.12

Pathways Counseling Services

Prosperity Project Presentation

January 2012

Kiko Malin, Family Health Services Director, opened the meeting, reviewing why BBC was convened, to promote Health Equity in Alameda County and to work differently together with the resources we already have. The Life Course Initiative work in the Public Health Department is being renamed Building Blocks for Health Equity (BB4HE).  BB4HE will be housed in the health equity unit, which encompasses BBC, Place Matters’ policy work, etc.

Daaimah Waqia and Deborah Carney gave a spotlight presentation on Food and Transportation Community Resource at Lion’s Creek Crossing, including a brief video. They provide healthy food, cooking classes, nutritional information, and transportation to food centers for residents in their community. They plan to increase service to include all EBALDC  sites.

The bulk of this meeting focused on two things: strengthening BBC’s membership and communication, and the future direction of the group. Small groups discussed 2012 priorities regarding communication, community development, and sustainability. Take a look at the minutes to see the full list of the priorities discussed!

BBC Minutes 01.27.12

December 2011

We celebrated the holidays with happy hour at Make Westing. We enjoyed bocce ball, food and drink, and good company!

Steering Committee Minutes 12.01.11

November 2011

This month BBC met at First Five-Alameda County.  ACPHD Director, Anita Siegel kicked off the meeting, and Janis Burger, First Five Deputy Director, gave a brief overview of First Five and showed  a video of one of families that has truly benefited from First Five’s empowering work.

A majority of the meeting was spent on brainstorming around the creation of a 2012 work-plan focused on four priority areas.  Those areas included: Building a learning community; Fostering multi-sector partnerships; Incubating and obtaining funding for innovative projects; Spreading the word locally and nationally to influence system change. Many innovate ideas were generated and members dot voted on their favorites. We’ll spend time at our meeting in January deciding on which ones to put devote our energy to in 2012.

We planned a time to celebrate BBC’s 2011 accomplishments and will have a holiday gathering on December 15 from 4-6 at Make Westing in downtown Oakland!

BBC Minutes 11.28.11

Steering Committee minutes 11.03.11

October 2011

This month BBC met at Brighter Beginnings’ Early Head Start Socialization Room. We started the morning off by having Drea Riquelme from Brighter Beginnings present on their work. Each BBC participant completed a form to tell Drea and Brighter Beginnings what excited them about the work, and where they saw synergy.

We spent a large part of the meeting working on creating a collective timeline of BBC history. Starting with our symposium in September 2009, we catalogued the various opportunities we’ve had to grow partnerships, engage in capacity building and trainings, launch projects, and spread the word about our work. We also looked forward into the future and made suggestions for the types of activities we would want to see.

We discussed Attitudinal Healing’s MLK event (BBC partners are encouraged to sponsor tables to support the event, and ACPHD will get one for folks to place materials if they cannot sponsor a table) policy updates, funding updates, and distributed a membership form and charter.

Attention all BBC members: Sign and complete the membership form and return it to Bina!

BBC Minutes 10.28.11

Steering Committee Minutes 10.06.11

BBC Member Commitment Form 122011

BB4HE Charter Final 012312

RWJ Prosperity Project Press Release (PDF)

MLK Day “Make the Dream Real” event flyer

MLK Booth form

MLK Sponsorship Request Letter

MLK Day Sponsorship Form 2012

September 2011

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), a partner focused on housing and community development hosted BBC at the Jack London Senior Housing complex, a lovely affordable housing complex in West Oakland.  Mary Hennessey, EBALDC Chief Operating Officer, welcomed us and gave us the history of EBALDC, and reported that EBALDC is starting to think about their work through a health equity lens and she will be directing a new unit focused on this!

The bulk of the meeting was spent on getting to know each other, to strengthen our collaborative, deepen our relationships, and better understand what resources we can leverage to achieve our vision.  We discussed that for meaningful collective impact, we must understand each other’s work better to find opportunities and areas of connection. We played People Bingo (which allowed many of us to see how our missions and work are aligned), reviewed the results of the asset-mapping survey, and discussed ideas for how to continue to build a strong foundation for collaboration at future meetings.

Check out the full minutes for more information on Food to Families mini-grants, new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, Kaiser Healthy Eating Active Living project, and our November and December meetings!

BBC Minutes 092311

Steering Committee Minutes 090111

August 2011

There was no BBC meeting this month because many folks were out for the summer, or attending the Collaboration Matters! Conference at UC Berkeley. BBC was one of the featured collaborations there. See our presentation below!

Steering Committee Minutes 080411

Collaboration Matters Conference Page

BBC’s presentation at Collaboration Matters – with Aeeshah Clottey, Elizabeth Hales, Marty Neideffer, Bina Shrimali

July 2011

This month’s meeting was hosted by Kaiser Permanente of the Greater Southern Alameda area. The focus was on identifying the potential for collective action group work in the BBC Strategy area of Healthy Food.

Bina Shrimali presented the Roadshow to start the morning off. Then Sylvia Jimenez, Community Benefits Manager for Kaiser Southern Alameda, gave an overview of Kaiser’s service areas and grants to further community efforts in several focus areas. BK Bose led a relaxation exercise for the group before quick updates about the Steering Committee, Life Course Systems Design Committee, the Food to Families program, Community Transformation Grants, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation MATCH grant. Next, Jessica Luginbuhl led a review of the previous meeting’s world on the Collective Impact article and the group received a progress update on communications and social media from BBC intern Brett Augspurger. Then the group split up to work on the meeting’s main focus: mutually reinforcing activities pertaining to the BBC Food Strategy area. Small groups discussed actionable strategies in the areas of Policy, Coalition-Building/Networking, and Community Education. The large group reconvened to share discussion highlights and hear about BBC asset mapping from intern Danielle DeCosta before the meeting close.

A sign-up sheet for agenda planning dates was also passed around.

BBC Minutes 072211

Steering Committee Minutes 071311

CTG Project Abstract

Social Media 101

BBC Facebook Page

BBC LinkedIn Group

June 2011

Hosted by Alameda County Public Health Department, this month’s BBC meeting focused on the article, Collective Impact by John Kania and Mark Kramer found in the Winter 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review. This article emphasizes that large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, much like what BBC is already doing.

Joe Devries kicked off the meeting by presenting the Roadshow to some old and some new members.  Anita Siegel set the stage for the discussion by providing background on ACPHD’s long-time dedication to achieving health equity, specifically highlighting Place Matters, the strategic plan to achieve health equity, and community capacity building.  After giving updates on other Life Course Initiative meetings and events the group honed in on Collective Impact.  BBC intern Brett Augspurger gave a quick synopsis on the five conditions for collective impact success: 1) Common Agenda, 2) Shared Measurement Systems, 3) Mutually Reinforcing Activities, 4) Continuous Communication, and 5) Backbone Support Organization at which point participants split up into small groups to discuss the five areas.  The small groups discussed successes, challenges and solutions.

BBC Minutes 062411

Steering Committee Minutes  060211

May 2011

Hosted by the Alameda County Food Bank, this was our second of two meetings focused on learning about what is taking place in the movement for healthy food in Alameda County. First Anita Siegel reminded us that although some of us have ideals around local, sustainably grown, organic food consumption, we must keep in mind the breadth of need in Alameda County, and the limited choices that many residents are facing. To this end, the BBC must address issues of food across the spectrum to increase access, affordability, quality, and nutrition.

Keisha Nzewi from the food bank then presented to us about hunger in Alameda County and the role of the food bank (see presentation below), addressing many of our questions from the April meeting. Next we had a panel of food “experts” — Daaimah Waqia and Deborah Carney, East Oakland Resident Leaders; Anaa Reese, Alameda County Public Health Dept, and Alethea Harper, Oakland Food Policy Council. The rich experiences and expertise of the panel gave us new ideas for action – summarized in the meeting notes below!  We launched a subcommittee charged to synthesize this into a strategy for us. They will meet later this summer.

Anita also told the group to stay tuned for more information on the Community Transformation Grants. ACPHD is applying. An overview on CTG is also below.

For next time we are going to read and discuss the Collective Impact article. The article and questions for your review are also below.

BBC Minutes 052711

Alameda County Food Bank Presentation

Collective Impact Article

Collective Impact Questions – For Discussion at June Meeting

Steering Committee Minutes 050511

CTG overview

April 2011

We met at Hayward Adult School for the April BBC meeting, hosted by the Ashland-Cherryland Garden and Arts Network (ACGAN). After hearing some updates from the Steering Committee, Life Course Systems Design Committee and Food to Families, we were treated to a walking tour and presentation from Susan Beck from ACGAN). Primed from the tour, the group accepted the revised strategy areas, and gave a few comments for suggestion. After agreeing to move forward, we heard from the food “experts” who launched our conversation about challenges and opportunities in the Alameda County food movement. Then we each posted suggestions for what we could do as organizations and as a collective to advance this movement. This conversation will be picked up at our next BBC meeting in May.

BBC minutes 4-22-11

Steering Committee Minutes 4.7.11

March 2011

We met at Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center this time and continued the conversation around our three strategy areas. We talked about what makes our collaborative unique from others focusing on these areas. For one thing, we start from the Life Course Perspective – and are invested in improving conditions for the 7,000 infants born in poverty each year in Alameda County. We are also committed to changing the way we work – both separately and collectively – we want to answer the question:   “what can we do differently with the resources we already have?” Discussing our unique BBC values and contribution helped shape our discussion around how our strategy areas connect with the Life Course Perspective. What came from the discussion will be used by a small workgroup to create very focused strategy statements to describe our work. We will review those next time!

BBC minutes 032511

Steering Committee minutes 3.3.11

February 2011

At our February meeting, we were hosted by Attitudinal Healing Connection in West Oakland. We continued the conversation on the three strategy areas: Healthy Economy through Economic Development, Healthy Youth through Youth Development and Education, Healthy Communities through Healthy Food.

The discussion asked us to consider our possible directions to accomplish these goals. We could incubate new effort on our own, we could join and support existing efforts, or we could do a little bit of both. We also discussed approaches to seeing the change we wish to see – will it be through policy and advocacy, through community engagement, and/or through practice and programs?

There was also some conversation about the area of Healthy Youth and a suggestion that was accepted to return to our Life Course roots by changing it to Healthy Youth and Families.

BBC meeting minutes 2.25.11

Steering Committee Meeting 2.3.11

January 2011

Kicking off 2011 with renewed energy, we spent the bulk of BBC’s January meeting discussing the three strategies areas identified at December’s BBC full day retreat. In small groups, we split up to discuss ideas for action related these three topics: Healthy Economy through Economic Development, Healthy Youth through Youth Development and Education, Healthy Communities through Healthy Food.

We also heard updates about the newly funded Food to Families project that has been funded by the Kresge Foundation, heard about the Steering Committee meeting, and recapped the retreat for those unable to attend.

BBC Meeting Minutes 1-28-11

Facilitated Breakout Session Notes 1-28-11

Steering Committee Minutes 1.6.11


Kresge Foundation to fund “Food to Families Initiative” in Alameda County

We are proud to announce that our proposal to the Kresge Foundation has been selected as one of eight national recipients for the Safety-Net Enhancement Initiative.  The three-year, $750,000 grant will fund an innovative project to improve the health of Alameda County residents.

Full Press Release

December 2010

This month, the normal BBC monthly meeting was replaced with a full-day, full-member retreat, held at the beautiful Joaquin Miller Community Center.      The goal for the day was to articulate our Collaborative’s desired outcomes, in the context of the social conditions we are working towards.  From there, we devised a number of strategies where collaborative action could make the greatest impact.  After considering how many strategies our collaborative could realistically take on, we then outlined 5 year goals for ourselves as a blueprint to achieving them.

The BBC’s next major item of business is to discuss our governance structure and partner agreements moving foward.  These issues are essential to our sustainbility and will further solidify our commitments to one other, building on our history of mutual trust and transparency, and keeping the best interests of the community in mind.

BBC Retreat Agenda 12-10-10 (powerpoint)

Steering Committee minutes 12-02-10

November 2010

In order to prepare for our upcoming full-day retreat, the BBC opted out of having a November monthly meeting.  However, our Roadshow Committee had a very productive meeting workshopping some new Life Course presentation slides to help communicate our message to communities and other stakeholders more effectively.  The Steering Committee also met in November to review the proposed retreat frameworks and discuss other business.

Roadshow Committee minutes 11-18-10

Steering Committee Minutes 11-04-10

October 2010

On October 12th, the BBC had the opportunity to host program officers from the Kellogg Foundation to demonstrate our County’s expertise and ability to implement the proposed “Best Babies Zone.”   We held a full-day site visit which included welcoming statements from Supervisor Nate Mile and Health Care Services Agency Director Alex Briscoe, a robust discussion of our vision for our County’s children, and a tour of the amazing work being done by our many talented, diverse, and dedicated partners.  Thank you to everyone who made this such an impressive and inspiring day!

October’s BBC meeting was graciously hosted by Aeeshah Clottey at the Attitudinal Healing Connection in West Oakland.  The meeting began with a presentation by the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) about their work in the San Pablo Corridor.  EBALDC is a dedicated BBC partner and is involved in some very exciting re-development work to improve the housing options available to low-income individuals and families.  In addition, EBALDC provides other services such as financial literacy (including youth financial literacy), job training, after- school programs, and adult education.

We then heard from Elizabeth Hales of East Bay Regional Parks about a successful partnership with Attidunal Healing’s youth program, YAH Village.  Thanks to the BBC, East Bay Regional Parks collaborated with YAH Village to develop a swim program to address the high rates of drowning among African-American and Latino youth.  Not only did the kids learn life-saving water skills, they had FUN and learned how to believe in and trust themselves.  Thanks, Elizabeth, for sharing this inspiring story!

BBC Meeting Minutes 10-29-10

Also, with the submission of our Kresge demonstration project proposal, we have reached the end of our 9-month planning grant.  Included below is our full report to the Kresge Foundation, sent on 10/31/10.  We had a very productive year and achieved all of our deliverables, and then some!

Kresge planning grant report

September 2010

Happy Birthday, BBC!  September marks our one-year anniversary as a collaborative and our monthly meeting was designed to celebrate this milestone.  We reflected on the many seeds that have been planted in the past year and shared our stories of those that have “taken root.”  We also learned about the many relationships and “mini-collaboratives” that have formed thanks to coming together every month.  Congratulations to all of our partners!

There were also some exciting announcements made at this meeting.  The Kellogg Foundation will be coming to Alameda County on October 12th for a site visit to assess our capacity to implement at 10-year Best Babies Zone grant, aimed at working collabortively to eliminate disparities in infant health.  Larry Adelman, from California Newsreel, will also be paying us a visit at the October 7th Steering Committee meeting to discuss his next film: American Birthrigtht. All are welcome to join us for what will definitely be a riveting discussion.  One-pagers on this and the Best Babies Zone are attached below.

Minutes 9-24-10

American Birthright 3-pager

BBZ Newsletter – Issue 2- September 2010

We also submitted a demonstration project propsal to the Kresge Safety-Net Enhancement Initiative this month.  The full proposal is available to download below. We expect to hear from Kresge Foundation in December.

Kresge demonstration project proposal

Line Item PROJECT Expense Budget

August 2010

At the site visit last month, our Kresge program officers challenged the BBC to move beyond our original “baby college” project idea to a demonstration project that would begin to address some of the community factors and “social determinants” of a major health issue.  Our steering committee rose to the challenge and convened for a full-day retreat.   Through this process, we were able to refine a new demonstration project proposal that 1) addresses an expressed community need, 2) builds on existing community iniatives and resources, and 3) leverages BBC partner assets. The new demonstration project was presented at this month’s monthly BBC meeting and was enthusiastically accepted by the large group!  The project is still a work-in-progress, but our most recent draft is attached below.

Steering Committee Retreat

Summary of Demo Project – As of 8-26-10

In the meantime, the Roadshow Committee has been hard at work adapting our current presentation to be a tool to use for community engagement.  Read our minutes to find out what we’re up to, or watch the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation webinar on “A New Way to Talk About the Social Determinants of Health” to catch up on what we’re talking about!

Roadshow Minutes 08-17-10

BBC Minutes 08-27-10

July 2010

At the end of 2009, the Building Blocks Collaborative received a 9-month planning grant from the Kresge Foundation to design a demonstration project to address a targeted health disparity.  This July, we hosted a visit from our funders and were excited to share with them the relationships we’ve built and the lessons we’ve learned thus far!  Two program officers from the Kresge Foundation spent the entire day with us, first attending the monthly Building Blocks meeting, then discussing our demonstration project proposal with the Steering Committee and internal ACPHD staff.  Our BBC meeting showcased our collection of learning community tools, including our “roadshow” presentation, website and blog, the “Unnatural Causes” DVDs and discussion guides (now available to borrow from ACPHD), and unveiled the Bill of Rights video montage.  We received very positive feedback from the foundation, who believes that Alameda County has much to teach the rest of the nation in redefining how we think about health.

Building Blocks Minutes 07-23-10

June 2010

The Demonstration Project Design Committee met a second time in June and discussed the “Baby College” model implemented by Harlem Children’s Zone. The group debated what the focus of our demonstration project should be, again raising the issue of short-term action versus long-term solutions.  At our large group meeting, together we began planning for our site visit from Kresge, generating many wonderful ideas for how we want to present the work and mission of our collaborative. The group charged the Roadshow committee with developing a photo montage portraying our Children’s Bill of Rights as an emotive tool to accompany our Roadshow presentation. We also revisited our discussion around Outcomes related to the Bill of Rights and Dani Taylor formed an “Outcomes” subcommittee to begin exploring existing data sets to establish evaluation measures to incorporate into our demonstration projects.

Building Blocks Minutes 6-25-10

Demonstration Project Design Committee Minutes 06-16-10

Life Course Initiative Steering Committee Minutes 06-03-10

May 2010

The Roadshow Committee elicited feedback from the group on our current presentation to as to continually develop it to “speak to” and engage diverse sectors. At the request of the group, this meeting was focused on deepening our understanding of our demonstration project communities.  We heard presentation from Tammy Lee, an Epidemiologist with ACPHD’s CAPE unit, and LaToya Carroll, from Oakland Youth Movement and a resident of the Hoover Historic District in West Oakland. The group was moved by the astute observations of youth in West Oakland and Ashland/Cherryland and prompted some discussion on potential demonstration projects to address particular youth-identified problems. The Steering Committee presented its parameters for the demonstration project, and the Demonstration Project Design Committee reported on its work identifying current initiatives taking place in our target communities.  The Roadshow announced its desire and availability to present at partner organizations to further promote the BBC’s work and create an awareness among staff in own agencies, who may not all get the chance to participate in our large-group meetings.

Building Blocks Minutes 5-28-10

Life Course Initiative Steering Committee minutes 05-12-10

Demonstration Project Design Committee Minutes 05-12-10

April 2010

The Bill of Rights was presented to the large group and enthusiastically adopted by all members.  Dani Taylor then led an activity to help us identify action steps to achieving the Bill of Rights, asking the question: “If we were to achieve this Bill of Right in Alameda County, what would it look like? What tangible results would we see? What would you look for to recognize that it had happened?”  The output from this conversation was then handed over to Cheri Pies who will lead the “Demonstration Project Design Committee” group to begin the work of translating theory into action in West Oakland and Ashland/Cherryland.  Cheri recruited members to this committee and set a first meeting date.  The Roadshow Committee has now successfully presented the work of Building Blocks to several different groups and has begun offering the presentation during a breakfast orientation before each BBC meeting.  This orientation is mandatory for all new members to bring them up-to-speed on our mission and work.

Building Blocks Minutes 04-23-10

Roadshow Update 4-23-10

March 2010

With the introduction of the proposed Steering Committee came a discussion around how Building Blocks wants to develop and organize itself.  The Steering Committee will guide the work of the Life Course Initiative, both at the internal ACPHD level as well for the external Building Blocks Collaborative. The desire for cross-sector collaboration was again reiterated and the group agreed to reach out to our networks to invite in new participants. Our work as a planning body was once again stressed, as well as our mission to redefine how we think about health.  Part of our charge is to re-educate ourselves and our community to see health through multiple lenses and improve upon the way we go about our daily work.  The group did an activity to prioritize our long list of Bill of Rights to assist the subcommittee in narrowing down and consolidating our vision for Alameda County children.

Building Blocks Minutes 3-26-10

February 2010

This month, Building Blocks began discussing more concretely what the work of the group over the next 6 months (and beyond) would be.  Bina presented the details of the Kresge grant and discussed our two present goals: to develop ourselves as a learning community that shares best practices on Life Course Perspective, and to design demonstration projects in West Oakland and Ashland/Cherryland to demonstrate our group’s ability for collective action and change.  A group decision was made to self-facilitate all BBC meetings.  Hence, the “agenda planning” subcommittee was formed and a sign-up sheet was sent around to receive commitments from all partners to participate over the next six months. The Bill of Rights subcommittee was also formed during this meeting and was charged with synthesizing the group’s diverse interests into a comprehensive bill for healthy children and communities.

Building Blocks Minutes 2-19-10

January 2010

The first order of business was group approval of the statement of purpose and guiding principles, drafted by a subcommittee. These will be used as a foundation to carry the planning process of a community based project for the next 9 months, for which a highly competitive Kresge Grant was awarded. This project will engage the community through local clinics and address the social determinants that cause health inequities.
Elizabeth from  the East Bay Regional Park District gave a fabulous presentation on the California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, which sparked a creative brainstorming session about other rights for children to achieve complete well-being. A committee will be formed at the next meeting to help create our own Bill of Rights to provide a framework for our group’s vision and action.

Building Blocks Meeting Minutes 1-15-10

Roadshow Minutes 1-6-2010

December 2009

At the third meeting of the Building Blocks Collaborative, we began to work on developing a statement of purpose and discussing shared outcomes that as a group we can work towards. The group discussed the main principles of the Life Course Perspective and what community “input” looks like. A brainstorming session of smaller groups came up with guiding words or phrases to be used in creating a statement of purpose, and it was decided that a working group would take the input and create a statement and guiding principles to bring back to the group to decide as a whole.  Also expressed at this meeting is the importance of recruiting additional partners to ensure that all sectors are well-represented and finding a mechanism to engage residents and the community in our work.  As a result, the “Roadshow” committee was formed to develop presentation tools and get the word out about the work of Building Blocks.

Building Blocks Meeting Minutes 12-4-09

October 2009

This month marked the true beginning of the Building Blocks Collaborative, where we held our first large group meeting comprised of many of the partners who attended the symposium. At this meeting, the group agreed to use the Life Course Perspective as the theoretical underpinning to our work.  Together, we grappled with two different tensions underpinning the paradigm shift that incorporates the Life Course Perspective.
First was the tension between services and broad community change – the classic upstream vs. downstream debate. How do we balance making sure the populations most at risk get the care they need today versus creating the conditions in which we see fewer at-risk populations in the first place? Second is the tension between initiating short-term change to respond to the immediate needs of the children and families many of us work with daily versus affecting long-term social change that can prevent future generations from experiencing these struggles.

At this meeting, the group also evaluated our capacity to work together and began the discussion on how we will leverage our resources to engage the public, improve system linkages, and build a framework for collective action. The group agreed to convene again in December.

Building Blocks Meeting Minutes 10-16-09

September 2009

About 25 people joined Michael Lu and Mario Drummonds at Alameda County Public Health Department to discuss the previous day’s symposium: Building Blocks for Healthy Babies, Healthy Families, Healthy Communities. The group was inspired and energized following the thought-provoking speakers of the previous day. We discussed how we represent many assets but we do not combine them in ways that make sense to keeping the community healthy. Michael Lu reminded us that the definition of insanity (according to Einstein) is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We must begin to do things differently! Michael Lu suggested that we each must stop building our own wells and making our own generators and start doing things together to create broader change.

Building Blocks Meeting Minutes 09-11-09




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Monthly Summaries-BBC Meeting

June 2011

Hosted by Alameda County Public Health Department, this month’s BBC meeting focused on the article, Collective Impact by John Kania and Mark Kramer found in the Winter 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review. This article emphasizes that large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, much like what BBC is already doing.

Joe Devries kicked off the meeting by presenting the Roadshow to some old and some new members.  Anita Siegel set the stage for the discussion by providing background on ACPHD’s long-time dedication to achieving health equity, specifically highlighting Place Matters, the strategic plan to achieve health equity, and community capacity building.  After giving updates on other Life Course Initiative meetings and events the group honed in on Collective Impact.  BBC intern Brett Augspurger gave a quick synopsis on the five conditions for collective impact success: 1) Common Agenda, 2) Shared Measurement Systems, 3) Mutually Reinforcing Activities, 4) Continuous Communication, and 5) Backbone Support Organization at which point participants split up into small groups to discuss the five areas.  The small groups discussed successes, challenges and solutions.

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