People and neighborhoods are impacted by race, poverty and trauma. These factors create barriers to economic success for adults and even impact the health of newborn babies. From early on, these cumulative pressures impact children, hampering the development of the necessary social, emotional, educational, and work skills to achieve self-sufficiency. As a community we cannot leave this talent behind. We need every child in our community to realize their potential and contribute to our community.
Based on recent data, we know our current efforts have not decreased disparities in health, education and economic opportunity. This requires us to think differently and employ different strategies.
What we have learned is that health, safety and wellbeing are culturally created rather than professionally prescribed. If we want to improve the economic opportunity, health and safety of communities then we must engage with communities in ways that allow them to lead. We also know that focusing on individuals alone will not address the pervasive effects of race, poverty and trauma. We must recognize that children and families live in communities and that healing begins within these communities. Three factors that determine the environmental conditions within communities are: economic and educational opportunity, people, and place. By focusing on these factors and harnessing the talents of community members, we can build a more robust workforce and more resilient neighborhoods.