29 Oct Building Local Partnerships and Social Capital
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This African proverb perfectly demonstrates how we need to approach health center advocacy. Our network of relationships at home will make an impact on boosting our movement. We MUST go together. There are already a multitude of organizations around us that share similar qualities to health centers. Think of the people and groups who are also rooted in the community, care for the underserved, and are committed to health and wellness – whether that be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. These partners will share similar commitments with health centers and will advocate for them when the opportunity arises.
Once you can identify these potential partners, find an opportunity to introduce yourself and your health center. Whether it’s at an event, a formal meeting, or in passing—be a catalyst in that relationship with a handshake and exchange of contact information. In conversation, see what upcoming issues or community events align with both your health center and their organization. From there, be sure to offer support where your health center can, and it is bound to be reciprocated.
Action Items: Identify 5 leaders in your community who may have a strong platform and are well connected. These may be a faith leader, event planner, city council member, other grassroots activists, etc. Find time to meet with these people and introduce yourself, your health center, and what you all do for the community.