The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has become synonymous with the phrase “building a culture of health”. Many of us working in public health are diligently pursuing the promises embedded within this phrase, such as equity, justice and well-being for all people. And yet, we cannot build a culture of health unless we first have a culture of empathy.
social services research
The convening was a wake-up call about the value of community-engaged research. As a local sector, we had not built the base of evidence in terms of what had worked, was working or not, and what change was happening…and for whom. An influential outsider defined what impact local efforts would be measured by instead of the neighborhood residents who had worked so hard to rebuild their communities. We needed stronger research partners and evaluation capacities–and a more comprehensive approach to community building and understanding of impact.