Resident power

At the center of the Healthy Contra Costa network of collective campaigns is resident leadership and power. The first campaign in 2010, People not Prisons, was led by Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization(CCISCO) and Resident Leaders who had been impacted by the justice system led the way. Each year, the Healthy Contra Costa collective advances campaigns -Education Equity, Health4All, Economic Justice, and Community Safety- that include strategies to increase leadership capacity for community residents who understand the impact of policy decisions through their lived experience and individual expertise.

If you are a resident interested in working on campaigns in your community, there are many opportunities for you to get involved. Here are some of the opportunities:

Healthy Contra Costa recognizes that in order to build community power, we have to do the following:

  • Perform outreach and recruitment
  • Build relationships for residents at a individual and collective level
  • Train and provide paid experiential learning opportunities for residents
  • Create leadership pathways to be part of decision-making
  • Connect residents to direct service providers and other CBOs to address their immediate needs, engage in healing, and maintain hope and motivation

Community Health Advocates consult with local health care systems to advance health equity.  Within our #OneContraCosta Coalition, the lead base building organization, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) engages its members to advocate for immigrants who remain uninsured. You can also join the Coalition and support efforts to ensure all Contra Costa residents have access to health care regardless of immigration status.

Join parent leaders who are actively involved in school district advocacy on our Schools & Neighborhoods Action Team advocating that education equity through the Local Control Funding Formula which is state funding allocated to local districts to close academic equity gaps for low-income, English Language Learners, foster care, and homeless youth. Parent leaders are also working on Positive School Climate goals to increase socio-emotional services for youth, support restorative justice practices, and ultimately stop the School to Prison Pipeline.

Resident leaders have been actively engaged as YPlan consultants with the City of Richmond on issues such as workforce development, transportation, and engagement of residents in community development projects designed to ensure that residents are not pushed out of their neighborhoods during community development projects. Residents are also encouraged to join us in our work with the City of Richmond’s Government Alliance for Racial Equity (GARE) which provides a pathway for jurisdictions to begin racial equity work. If you live in North Richmond (NR), join the NR Resident Leadership Team as they advocate with the County on the redevelopment of their neighborhood to ensure that their Quality of Life recommendations are realized in partnership with County planners and future developers and businesses.

We also have sponsored residents in attending Urban Habitat’s Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI) program where individuals learn about race and class analysis related to land use, gentrification and anti-displacement, equitable development, transportation & housing justice.  Urban Habitat, based in Oakland, identifies, trains, places and supports low-income people and people of color for priority boards and commissions in the Bay Area.

Finally, right here in Richmond, our partner Fierce Advocates provides the Community Educational Leadership Institute (CELI) builds a powerful and highly engaged network of parent leaders and advocates to increase accountability at the local and regional levels by bringing race, class, and social equity to the forefront of education and health policy decisions on boards, commissions, and committees.

Through engaging training sessions, CELI fellows build political and technical knowledge, as well as skills for effective public service and for practicing self-care. Guest speakers from across the educational, health, wellness and equity sectors expose fellows to diverse experiences and perspectives. For more information, go to CELI’s webpage.


North Richmond Brookside Site
July 2022 - August 2023

  • In North Richmond, the Brookside Site posed as a environmental justice and economic development issue.
  • The North Richmond Resident Leadership Team were concerned of the clean up of the contaminated soil and development of a warehouse happening between Urban Tilth Farm and Verde K-8. In response, the NRRLT and HCC performed research and advocacy to inform the multiple systems (Department of Toxic Substance Control, Board of Environmental Safety, Contra Costa County Departments, etc.) involved in addressing the community’s concerns.
  • As a result of their action, there is now movement in the way that local and state agencies and other stakeholders like developers interact with one another and meaningfully engage community.
  • For more information on this story, click here.


Community Buzz Cafe on Race Equity
January 2022 - December 2022

  • The City of Richmond has a Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP) which is focused on fixing or telling the City to fix their practices and processes in a way that benefits the community in an actionable and equitable way. Many community members have voiced their individual encounters with the City. Through informing the REAP, community impact CAN be real if there is a strong guideline for the City to apply that fully embraces race and equity.
  • 3 Resident ambassadors, who are alumni of the Literacy for Every Adult Program and Y-PLAN Adult Cohort, have engaged as part of the Race Equity Team and Healthy Contra Costa partners by facilitating workshops to spread awareness and inform the way the City will enact their Race Equity Action Plan. Through the buzz cafes, resident ambassadors have been able to connect with other community leaders who care about race equity and are moving in tandem with the values of the Race Equity Team. Moving forward, resident leaders want to be meaningfully engaged, grow in capacity, and perform outreach and engagement about what are the resident ambassadors, what is the Race Equity Team, and have community inform the REAP in greater detail.
  • For more info on the community buzz cafe data, click here.


North Richmond Youth Listening Sessions
2020 - 2022

  • In North Richmond, there is currently no resource center to meet the range of needs of youth. 6 NR Youth Leaders were trained to analyze data and advocate for recommendations for the creation of a youth center and a NR Youth Working Group consisting of residents, CBOs, and system partners.
  • For more information on the data and recommendations, click here.


Together Towards Health
Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, ~20 community health advocates from San Pablo and Richmond were trained to map and collect data points (n=448) through an application created by Streetwyze capturing stories related to healthcare and social determinants of health from residents to in West Contra Costa. 7 moved forward to inform equity recommendations which were presented to senior management level staff of Contra Costa Health.
  • For more information, click here.


Parent Leadership Retreat
February 2022

In partnership with YES Nature to Neighborhoods, Healthy Contra Costa co-facilitated a 2-day parent leadership retreat at Kennedy Grove Regional Park. The goals of the retreat are to reconnect with one another, build community, and work to address some of the issues, particularly as it relates to family and community engagement for educational equity, that are impacting the community.

As a result of this retreat, we accomplished the following:

  • Unified a new generation of parents who will be part of short and long term advocacy efforts
  • Listened and understood parents’ current barriers/challenges in education
  • Identified parents’ vision of educational equity & spectrum of ownership
  • Sparked inspiration and conversations around the role policy advocacy can play in dismantling challenges/barriers and reaching educational equity
  • Identified the current ‘windows of opportunity’ for parents to make change and highlight their roles as parent leaders and policy advocates
  • Shared the tools, mindset, and different forms of support that make this work realistic/possible and impactful
  • Experienced parent leaders described their power building, successes, and current challenges

For more info, click here.


WCCUSD Youth-Led Community Forum
February 2022

  • The conception of the community forum started back in Fall 2021 from the concerns of parents related to COVID. In December, during a meeting with Healthy Richmond’s Schools & Neighborhood Action Team Partners & WCCUSD Staff, it was decided to create a community forum that would be centered on the visions and voices of the youth who are directly experiencing what it is like to be in school with the many different pressures (COVID, violence threats, etc.).
  • 6 youth served as planners for the vision of the forum and 3 were supported in leadership, facilitation, and public speaking to co-facilitate discussions sensitive issues that they and their peers are experiencing within schools. The audience were composed of other youth, parent leaders, and school district staff.


Mis Acciones Salvan Vidas
August 2021 - February 2022

  • “My Actions Save Lives/Mis Acciones Salvan Vidas” was a collaborative effort between Healthy Richmond (HR) and United Latino Voices (ULV), to increase the number of Latinxs COVID-19 vaccinations amongst the most vulnerable communities of Richmond/North Richmond and San Pablo. Through a strategic and trusted community collaboration, boots on the ground outreach, and culturally/linguistic appropriate vaccination messaging and education, this project empowered 10 promotoras to alleviate barriers which prevented successful vaccination and services through specific Latinx community engagement, appointment assistance. and build community trust.
  • For more information, click here.


Contra Costa CARES Outreach & Education Plan

Healthy Contra Costa trained 3 community health advocates to analyze and translate data and stories from respondents while also supporting outreach for the CC CARES O&E Pre-Enrollment Survey.

For more information, click here.


JULY 2023 - AUGUST 2023

  • Healthy Contra Costa and RYSE are partners in building community power for youth and adults through a shared curriculum delivered through our respective Policy Institutes.
  • 16 participants were paid to gain conceptual and practical lens and tools for policy advocacy and racial equity. Participants are then connected to tables of decision-making of their interest area to be part of advocacy.
  • For more information, click here.

“I appreciated the first week focus of the institute, including focusing on how advocacy simply stems from being clear on what one’s values are, what is important to you and ‘being’ and ‘bringing’ more of that into the world. Accordingly, there is opportunity to keep one’s values front and center and understand ‘your story’ in a way that prompts you to take action by just being authentically and strategically who you are. With that said, I plan to use the opportunity to use my own voice and empower others to use theirs in both my personal life, in my community and professionally, in whatever role I happen to serve in.”

-Policy Institute Participant


Undergraduate Intern Spotlights

  • Health Career Connections
    • Zakiyyah 2021
    • Mariella 2021
    • Elizabeth Ortega, Richmond Promise 2022
    • Naja Ji Jaga, Richmond Promise 2023
  • UC Santa Cruz
    • Cole Fall 2022
  • CSU East Bay
    • Jade Galvan Fall 2021
    • Alison Paxtor Fall 2021
    • Ryan Gamba’s Class (n=24) CSU East Bay Internship 2022


Graduate Intern Spotlights

  • MSW Interns
    • Abigail 2021-2022
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