The Year of Taking a Stand

Carolyn Wang Kong multiple hands

If I were to pick a theme for 2020, it would be the year of taking a stand. We can say with confidence that our world, our state, and our communities are changing and being challenged in ways that are not fully known at this time, and we can also say with confidence that, collectively, we have the power to shape the future and bend the arc toward community health. With an election, the Census, and community engagement for redistricting all scheduled for 2020, it’s a year of tremendous possibility, and for us at the Foundation, a year to double down on what we’ve learned so far and take a stand in the areas where we can make the most difference.

Across our program areas, what’s crystallized are the implications of individual, multigenerational and community trauma, straining systems that are constrained by a lack of resources and an evidence base, and overall, issues that are too large and complex to be solved by any single actor or sector. We see that our work must increasingly take a life course view, not only to enable a focus on root causes, but to foster an awareness of the relationship between root causes and the health and development of individuals, families, and communities.

In 2020, our work will reflect our continued commitment to work in new ways and hone in on the issues that have the highest potential to drive to our bold goal:

  • Ending harmful gender norms that perpetuate violence, economic insecurity, and disparities in health by shaping new narratives.
  • Spreading multigenerational approaches that help parents heal and prevent children from experiencing or perpetuating domestic violence by investing in these approaches and building the evidence for their effectiveness.
  • Promoting economic stability and mobility, a shared determinant of both health and domestic violence, so that all Californians can contribute to the health and wealth of our state.
  • Continuing to invest in the building blocks of prevention - cross-sector collaborations, policies that promote and reward prevention, investments in community resilience, and data that tell us if communities feel healthier and safer.

We announced these focal areas in our most recent grant announcement and, over the next two months, we will provide an in-depth exploration of each area through our blogs.

We head into 2020 with a tighter focus on these key areas, which will enable us to establish and expand opportunities in 2021 and beyond, so that future generations have the healthiest lives and relationships possible. This is a year for turning the corner, for building new alliances, for setting a foundation for generations of prevention practice to come, and mostly importantly, for taking a stand to ensure that all Californians have good health, positive relationships, and strong communities.

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