Boston Plan for Excellence, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and Project Hope Boston are excited to announce they have received $1,000,000 for a Children’s Health Equity Initiative (CHEq) three-year grant as part of Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health.
With this grant, the three organizations will launch a partnership called the Nubian Neighborhood Network, which builds upon their current work and existing relationships in Roxbury and North Dorchester. BPE and DSNI have worked together to establish a PreK-12 educational pipeline of Boston Public Schools that ensures Dudley families are not required to leave the community for an education. Project Hope Boston provides access to education, jobs, housing and emergency services to students and families from these schools. The goal of the Nubian Neighborhood Network is to bring together community members and partners within the healthcare and tech industries to establish a strong and coordinated educational and employment strategy centered around:
1) engaging families and youth as leaders in planning and implementation;
2) building strategic cross-sector employer collaboration;
3) exposing and providing students and families with STEM opportunities that go beyond traditional notions; and
4) preparing residents to secure and maintain high-quality employment opportunities.
The Nubian Neighborhood Network (N3) seeks to address child health inequities in Roxbury by providing community members with access to STEM careers that provide high wages, thereby raising the income levels of residents and leading to better overall health. By capitalizing on expanding resources in the community and the growing focus on STEM across the City of Boston, while also identifying opportunities to develop strong workforce development strategies based on current labor patterns, N3 will ultimately create more economically stable families and neighborhoods. N3 is using a unique approach to its work, integrating resident-driven methods that help to drive strategy and imagine interventions that embody the strengths and cultures of the neighborhood. It’s supported in this by the design firm Agncy, a local non-profit that works with groups to use design tools and processes to make the justice they seek for their communities.
“Too often, we witness residents of Roxbury and North Dorchester miss out on learning and job opportunities across the City of Boston due to discrimination across race and class and lack of accessibility of these opportunities. Because of the CHEq grant, neighborhood organizations, community members and Boston businesses will be able to create programs that rectify this injustice and provide the skills and pipelines necessary for residents to secure fulfilling employment that meets their potential” – Keila Barros, resident and DSNI Board President.
The CHEq grant to the Nubian Neighborhood Network is part of Boston Children’s total commitment of $53.4 million to support community organizations and agencies in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of children and families in Boston and across Massachusetts. Over the next 6 – 9 years, Boston Children’s will distribute these funds as part of an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Determination of Need Program. This is in addition to the hospital’s ongoing support for programs and partnerships.
“A prescription to keep children healthy includes quality schools, safe places to exercise and play, stable housing, and good jobs with adequate pay for families,” says Shari Nethersole, MD, executive director for Community Health at Boston Children’s. “The CHEq initiative will help address inequities that we know children and their families in our city experience. We’re excited to support the alignment of community organizations working together to problem solve, measure, and share strategies to address complex social issues and focus on child health.”
“Neighborhood based cross-sector collaborations bring the right partners to the table to address and positively impact child health,” adds Stacy Walker, Director of Community Health Planning and Engagement at Boston Children’s. “Different perspectives, resident leadership, and a commitment to improving outcomes and health equity in the community where families live and work—these all contribute to successful and meaningful collective impact.”