The Health and Wellness Table was created by community members and health-related service providers to discuss health disparities and the need to address barriers to health and wellness in our community. In May, 2014, the Table invited Jean Ayers, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Health Department, to meet with community members and discuss the impact of racial inequities that are embedded systemically in our community, impacting wellness and the quality of our daily lives.
At community meetings throughout the summer of 2015, participants determined a strategic plan for health equity in the coming year. The Health and Wellness Action Teams set goals with specific activities and events:Facilitate cross-cultural connections – learn in cross-race relationships and turn what we learn together into actions.
- Make healthy activities accessible to everyone – form walking groups for adults, families and children in the Central Hillside, Lincoln Park, and West Duluth neighborhoods.
- Connect health educators to neighborhoods – explore ways to reach out into the neighborhoods and reduce barriers to wellness programs and medical appointments.
- Enhance community-provider relationships – bring together community members and service providers to understand the impact our interactions have on each other’s health.
“My Zip Code is Killin’ Me” is a forum theatre experience sponsored by The Health and Wellness Table with a mission to use theatre as a tool to explore the intersection of health and race issues that deeply affect the Duluth community. Community members, who are directly affected by health disparities predicted by race and culture, write and perform theatre works to increase awareness of health equity issues and to equip our community to reduce those disparities.Through performance, facilitation, and audience participation, the Zip Code troupe strives to enact positive social change as a part of our shared experience as community members. Those changes can ultimately occur on the personal, institutional and systemic levels.
For more information about the Health and Wellness Table, contact Yodit at Yoditg@communityhealthboard.org.