OCTOBER 2019: Climate resilience projects, HEZ named promising practice, and more! 

Community Climate Resilience Project

Climate change does not affect all communities equally.  Social, economic, and environmental inequities can make some communities more susceptible to the impacts of climate change.  Building community resilience is long-term way to prepare for climate change in the most at-risk communities. The Central Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket and Central Falls Health Equity Zones recently presented the unique, and community-specific ways they built community resilience in their neighborhoods in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change.  Way to go!


We Need Your Help!

The HEZ team at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is in the process of making improvements to our HEZ webpages, and want your input on how to make it more useful (for example, what would be helpful to include that would make your HEZ work more efficient, what would make it a helpful resource to refer others to, etc.).  We are also curious about your experience with racial equity training in order to inform upcoming offerings. 

If you wouldn't mind taking a very brief survey, we would love for your perspective to be considered!  Thank you!  

Health Equity Zones Named AMCHP Innovation Station Promising Practice

As part of its commitment to serve as a national resource for members and to support state efforts to build successful maternal and child health (MCH) programs, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) collects, reviews and disseminates cutting-edge, emerging, promising, and best practices from public health programs across the US so that effective models can be shared and replicated among the MCH community.  AMCHP defines a promising practice as: 

  • An innovative solution to an evolving public health issue.
  • Aligning with experiential evidence inside and outside of public health.
  • Providing a perceived benefit to the MCH population.
  • Demonstrating early signs of success and commitment to ongoing evaluation.
  • Incorporating the philosophy, values, characteristics, and indicators of other positive/effective public health interventions.
  • Based on guidelines, protocols, standards, or preferred practice patterns that have been proven to lead to effective public health outcomes.
  • Incorporating a process of continual quality improvement that:
    • Accumulates and applies knowledge about what is working and not working in different situations and contexts;
    • Continually incorporates lessons learned, feedback, and analysis to lead toward improvement or positive outcomes. 
  • Having been, or is being evaluated.
  • Has strong quantitative and qualitative data showing positive outcomes, but does not yet have enough research or replication to support generalizable positive public health outcomes.
AMCHP recently identified and cataloged Rhode Island's Health Equity Zone initiative as a promising practice.  View the document here.  

2020 Community Revitalization Fellowship Request for Applications

The Center for Community ProgressCommunity Revitalization Fellowship is a learning opportunity to help cohorts of grassroots community leaders revitalize neighborhoods that are struggling with serious challenges related to vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment. 

Each year, six resident leaders from three communities (eighteen people in total) are selected as fellows.  The Community Revitalization Fellowship is designed as an opportunity for participating fellows to:

  • Gain knowledge about neighborhood stabilization and revitalization strategies, tools, and systems.
  • Lead a strategic and impactful revitalization strategy or project.
  • Build connections with fellows both within and across participating communities.
  • Strengthen relationships with local organizations, elected officials, and other local leaders.
  • Increase effectiveness of resident-led neighborhood interventions and advocacy.

In 2020, the Community Revitalization Fellowship will focus on helping residents lead community-based efforts to improve vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties specifically through the practice of creative placemaking.  Visit the website for more information or apply hereApplications are due by November 20, 2019 at 5 p.m.  

Nonprofit Innovation Lab Seeking Candidates

United Way Rhode Island (UWRI) is partnering with Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) to offer a Nonprofit Innovation Lab.  The Nonprofit Innovation Lab’s goal is to spark development of self-sustaining, new solutions that will enable organizations to expand and accelerate their ability to create positive social impact.

UWRI and SEG seek candidates who are passionate about their nonprofit organization and its work, and who have identified a compelling idea that utilizes business skills to solve a social problem.  Together, UWRI and SEG will select up to 10 participants as the program’s first cohort of fellows, providing the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to launch new solutions to existing social problems and to compete for funds to set their new ideas to action.  Selected fellows will have demonstrated a commitment to bringing their new idea and knowledge back to their nonprofit to energize the organization and engage staff to take the work to the next level.
Along with utilizing a social impact curriculum, the Nonprofit Innovation Lab offers Fellows the critical resources – coaching, access to networks, and capital – that they need to bring their ideas to life.  Fellows will receive a $5,000 stipend to cover costs associated with participation.  For more information or to apply, visit the Nonprofit Innovation Lab's websiteApplications are due by November 4, 2019


Housing for Everyone Grant Competition

The TD Bank Charitable Foundation is offering Housing For Everyone Grants in the communities served by the bank in Rhode Island. This year's grant competition focuses on “refurbishing to increase affordable rental housing.” Support will be provided for programs that provide access to safe, clean, physically accessible affordable housing units for families, individuals, the elderly, new Americans, veterans, people with disabilities, women, and youth. Applications are due by October 25, 2019.

For more information or to apply, visit the grant website.  For any questions, please email

Annie's Grants for Gardens

Annie’s Grants for Gardens are provided to K-12 school gardens nationwide to help children start thinking more holistically about their food, their communities, and the planet. Grants may be used to purchase any supplies for an edible garden, such as plants, seeds, raised beds, fencing, wheelbarrows, greenhouses, and drip irrigation systems. Public, charter, and private schools, as well as school districts and nonprofit organizations supporting a school garden, are eligible to apply. Applications are due by November 1, 2019.  For more information, visit the grant website

Voices for Economic Opportunity

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking seeking creative, compelling ideas from individuals and organizations from all sectors in the US to elevate diverse voices and broaden the national conversation about poverty and economic mobility. The highest priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Highlight barriers to economic mobility as well as the impact of biases, intersectionality, and ideas around deservingness related to race, gender, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental health, ability, and geography.
  • Highlight the voices of individuals experiencing poverty.
  • Highlight ideas for distributing these perspectives.

Applications are due by November 13, 2019 at 2:30 p.m.  For more information, visit the Voices for Economic Opportunity grant website

RI Census 2020 Fund Grants

The Rhode Island Census 2020 Fund is a statewide, collaborative funding initiative to support a complete and accurate census count for Rhode Island.  These grants are designed to reach specific demographic and geographic populations that are at risk of being under-counted in the 2020 Census.  Nonprofits, school districts and houses of worship are eligible to apply.

An information session for potential applicants will be held on November 7, 2019 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Nonviolence Institute, 265 Oxford Street, Providence, RI, 02905.  Please register here to attend.  Applications are due by November 25, 2019.  For more information or to apply, visit the grant website

Community Innovation Grants

The Community Innovation Grants Program has been designed to allow the United Fresh Start Foundation to collaborate with like-minded stakeholders to increase children’s access, selection, and consumption of fresh produce while they are outside of school.

The 2020 program is focused on supporting visionary initiatives and research that not only increase children and families’ access to fresh produce, but also broaden selection and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, whether at home, on weekends, during the summer, while out to eat, or any other time outside the traditional school day.

A total of $50,000 in funds will be awarded this year.  Applicants should present projects that increase access, selection, and consumption outside the school day, are designed to be sustainable beyond the duration of the 2020 grant, and serve as a model or be able to scale-up following the initial investment.  Special consideration will be given to projects that work to address barriers to fresh produce access, selection, and consumption in retail and food service/restaurant environments.

Applications are due here by December 1, 2019.  For more information about the Community Innovation Grants Program, contact Mollie Van Lieu.

Community-Wide Approaches for Healthy Children

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is offering a funding opportunity to assess the effectiveness of interventions targeted community-wide in order to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in racial/ethnic minority and disadvantaged populations. Funding will be used to implement and evaluate prevention approaches that expand or improve upon evidence-based interventions or promising research evidence.

ACEs disproportionately impact racial/ethnic minority children and are linked to negative, lasting outcomes for health and well-being, and higher healthcare costs. The effects of ACEs include poor physical health, chronic disease, substance use and mental health issues, unemployment, and poverty. ACEs are often associated with a wide range of experiences (e.g. food insecurity, housing insecurity, poverty, community violence), and prevention of ACEs requires community-level responses. 

This is a forecasted funding opportunity with an estimated post date of December 6, 2019 and an estimated application deadline of March 6, 2020.  Additional details can be found here.

Proposals for Program Evaluations

The Brady Education Foundation is currently accepting proposals focused on evaluating programs that have the potential of helping to close the opportunity and resulting achievement gaps between children living in under-resourced communities and/or from under-represented populations and other children. 

Projects that evaluate programs consistent with strength-based approaches rather than deficit models, and consider the specific and unique assets and needs of children from diverse racial and ethnic groups and/or from low-income communities will be favored.

There is a two-stage admission process, and applications are accepted throughout the year.  Visit the website for more information. 


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands, which is dangerous and potentially fatal.  The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 26, 2019 provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by cleaning out their medicine cabinets and turning in - safely and anonymously - prescription drugs.

On Take Back Day, the DEA will also collect e-cigarette and vaping products for safe disposal. E-cigarettes and flavored components are hazardous waste. Liquid nicotine is a toxin or poison and is harmful to people, birds, wild animals, and pets. It also pollutes the environment. Do not throw e-cigarettes in the garbage or recycling bins, flush e-liquids down toilets or sinks, or put e-cigarette products in landfills.

See this flyer for more information, and visit this website to find Take Back locations near you.

Volunteers Needed for Tree Planting

Providence Neighborhood Planning Project (PNPP) is recruiting volunteers for an upcoming tree planting in Providence.  New trees will provide beauty to local streets, and also help clean and cool Rhode Island air and water. PNPP plantings are family friendly!  Bring your loved ones to learn how to plant a street tree, help grow our urban forest, and meet fellow tree lovers.

Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes, work gloves, and comfortable clothes that can get dirty. Please bring a shovel, rake, or push-broom if possible.  The planting will take place rain or shine, and will only be postponed due to severe weather. Any cancellation will be announced by 3:30 p.m. the day prior.

WHERE:                                                            WHEN:         
26 Goddard Street                                             Saturday, November 2, 2019      
Providence, Rhode Island 02908                       8:30 a.m.
sign up here

Accessibility & Equity Webinar Series

RespectAbility is offering a series of free "Including People with Disabilities in Nonprofits and Foundations" webinars to provide step-by-step guidance and provide resources and contacts to help foundations and nonprofits.

All webinars will be free, with live captioning.   Participants may register for the entire series or individual webinars of interest.  Visit this website for full descriptions of each of the webinar topics.

  • November 6, 2019: Disability 101
  • November 13, 2019: Disability History
  • November 20, 2019: How to Ensure Accessible Events
  • December 4, 2019: How to Recruit, Accommodate and Promote People with Disabilities for Paid Employment, Volunteer Leadership and Board Positions
  • December 11, 2019: How to Ensure A Welcoming Lexicon and Inclusive Storytelling
  • January 7, 2020: How to Ensure Accessible Websites, Social Media and Inclusive Photos
  • January 9, 2020: Premium Skills Workshop in Social Media Accessibility
  • January 15, 2020: How to Ensure Legal Rights and Compliance Obligations: Exploring the Rights of Employees and Participants, and the Obligations of Nonprofit Organizations Under the Law
register for any or all of the webinars here

Promoting Quality Care for LGBT Older Adults Workshops

Recognizing that LGBT elders comprise a distinctly disadvantaged population, a two-part series of three workshops will be offered to convey knowledge and best practice skills for meeting the needs of this growing but often invisible and under-served minority.

Each workshop is focused toward a specific setting.  The first series will be offered by a SAGECare trainer employing resources developed by SAGE and the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. The follow-up workshop will be held in April to explore relevant topics and ways of improving practice skills in more depth.  The schedule for the first series of the workshops is as follows:

  • November 13, 2019: for hospital and primary care
  • November 20, 2019: for long-term care and assisted living
  • December 4, 2019: for community-based agencies

The workshops will enable participants to describe the culture, needs, and concerns of LGBT older adults; discuss why LGBT older adults are least likely to access health and social services; identify best practices for creating an inclusive and welcoming environment; and obtain educational tools and resources to better serve those who currently access or are in need of services. 

For information about continuing education credits, visit the registration page, and for further information on scheduling and location contact

register here

Rootskills Workshop

Join over 100 grassroots organizers for a training and networking event that will focus on environmental and social justice work. The Grassroots Fund's RootSkills Workshops are day-long gatherings where grassroots organizers, colleagues, and supporters convene to network, share stories, and dig into both issue- and process-based skills-building sessions.

WHERE:                                                            WHEN:         
WaterFire Arts Center                                        Friday, November 15, 2019      
475 Valley Street                                               8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Providence, Rhode Island 02908
register here

Latino Challenges Workshop

Facilitated by trainers from the the Racial Equity Institute, Latino Challenges is a two-day workshop where participants engage in a critical analysis of how racism disempowers Latinos, hindering both individual well-being and community development.

In the workshop, participants examine how Latinos have been racialized in the US, as well as the cultural backdrop of race and racism in Latin America that shapes our layered identity today. At the same time, participants will explore how our particular cultures, identities, and histories of struggle are vital sources of strength for individuals and families of Latin American origin in the United States. Further, participants will directly address how racism is used as a wedge between Latinos and African Americans and undermines anti-racism movement.

Those who live in or work with Latino communities and are interested in ending racial disparities in institutions and working together for social justice are encouraged to attend.

WHERE:                                                            WHEN:         
Child & Family                                                   Friday, November 15, 2019 &    
1268 Eddy Street                                              Saturday, November 16, 2019
Providence, Rhode Island 02905                      8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
register here

Partnering for Health at a Regional Level Webinar

The solutions to improve the health of communities often transcend the borders of cities or towns. What do successful cross-sector approaches to health and equity improvement look like when they span different geographical regions?

Join the Build Healthy Places Network for "Larger Than Cities and Towns: Partnering for Health at a Regional Level," a stimulating conversation with three organizations from across the country that are driving innovative regional approaches to improve health outcomes, enhance opportunity, and advance equity. Hear about the economic, cultural, and policy forces shaping these dynamic multi-sector partnerships. The interactive conversation will explore the strategies they’ve developed for engaging diverse stakeholders and the challenges, successes, and lessons they are learning along the way.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019          
1 p.m. 
register here

RIDOH Conference to Support Pregnant and Parenting Families Impacted by Substance Use Disorder

Providers and other professionals who work with families impacted by substance use often face challenges helping their patients navigate the myriad of available supports and services. This conference is designed to highlight, from a multidisciplinary perspective, the most pressing questions and issues providers have in their work with families including: long-term effects of prenatal opioid exposure, the intersection of substance use and child welfare, and ways to address and combat fear and discrimination.

After this conference, providers and other professionals who work with and support pregnant and parenting families impacted by substance use and substance exposed newborns will be able to identify what is known and not known about the long-term effects of prenatal opioid exposure; describe multidisciplinary collaborations to support Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF)-involved families impacted by substance use; explain the overarching goals of family treatment drug court and baby court; and understand how fear and discrimination impact outcomes for pregnant and parenting families with substance use disorder.

WHERE:                                                            WHEN:         
The Crowne Plaza Hotel                                    Thursday, November 21, 2019      
801 Greenwich Avenue                                      8 a.m. - 4:20 p.m.
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886
register here

Promising Practices for Eliminating Disparities in Sleep-Related Infant Deaths

Black babies and American Indian/Alaskan Native babies die from sleep-related deaths at more than twice the rate of white babies. These glaring inequities are rooted in systemic barriers caused by structural racism. Here, the National Institute for Children's Health Equity shares nine promising practices for change from innovative community programs, grassroots initiatives, and state and national campaigns.

RI Elder Info

The mission of RI Elder Info is to empower people throughout the aging journey by providing easy, one-stop access to a comprehensive suite of information and resources.  Tailored to the user, RI Elder Info is the only expert-curated online resource for Rhode Island seniors, caregivers and professionals.  Federal, state, and community-specific resources can be found in an intuitive way that's easy to navigate. 

Roadmap for Authentic Community Engagement

Developing authentic community engagement requires intentional interest and decisions from all participants. In this resource, National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) Senior Project Director Kenn Harris shares some of his lessons, learned from nearly 30 years of working with communities.  


Messaging to Advance Health Equity in Public Policy Webinar

It can be challenging to effectively communicate and message the value of health equity and ongoing efforts to diverse stakeholders.  In this Culture of Health webinar, experts provide research-based tips and techniques for advancing health equity in public policy.  The webinar aims to:

  • Highlight successful strategies for messaging and communicating health equity in public policy.
  • Provide an example of a successful communications campaign that effectively utilized evidence-based strategies to engage key stakeholders to advance health equity in public policy.
  • Identify current research gaps around effective messaging and communication for health equity. 
Click on the video to view the recording of the webinar.

Giving Effective Public Testimony to Support Health Equity

Providing public comment, whether as an individual or through an organization, can be intimidating.  The Berkeley Media Studies Group has compiled nine tips for providing public comment, including how organizations can support people sharing their stories in local governmental meetings as one way to move towards health equity. 

A Guide for Implementing New Transportation Planning Standards

Data and analysis play a crucial role in determining the health, equity, and sustainability of communities. Planning and transportation measurements shape whether built environments are safe and beneficial to health or focused on other priorities like promoting automobile transportation. The transition from car-oriented level-of-service (LOS) metrics to vehicle miles traveled (VMT) indicators presents an opportunity to advance analytical methods that will help create healthier, more equitable communities.

ChangeLab Solutions has developed a guide, How Measuring Vehicle Miles Traveled Can Promote Health Equity,  for transportation planners, engineers, policymakers, and other professionals who want to use this transition to improve health equity in their region. In addition, public health practitioners, community groups, transportation advocates, and other stakeholders can use this resource to facilitate collaboration with local officials.

New Study of Rhode Islanders' Health Outlines Strengths, Weaknesses | Providence Journal, October 23, 2019

My Turn: Bill Hatfield: Building a Healthier Rhode Island | Providence Journal, October 23, 2019

Opportunities Grow at Harvest Kitchen | Brown Daily Herald, October 8, 2019

Proposed Plan Would Bring Climate Justice to Providence | EcoRI News, October 7, 2019

Does Your ZIP Code Define Your Life Expectancy | Providence Journal, October 6, 2019

Thousand of California's Seniors Are 'One Disaster Away' From Homelessness. What Can the State Do? | USA Today, October 2, 2019

President Trump's Policy Change For Food Stamps Could Impact Thousands of Rhode Islanders | ABC6, October 1, 2019

'Out Here, It's Just Me': In the Medical Desert of Rural America, One Doctor For 11,000 Square Miles | The Washington Post, September 28, 2019

U.S. Military's Suicide Rate For Active-Duty Troops Up Over the Past Five Years, Pentagon Says | The Washington Post, September 26, 2019

Increasing Healthy Food Access In North Carolina Food Deserts |, September 25, 2019

On-Site Health Care Could Help Seniors Stay At Home | Stateline, September 24, 2019

Electronic Bikes, Scooters Set for Providence Return | EcoRI News, September 20, 2019


Let's work together to raise awareness of the exciting work happening across Rhode Island's Health Equity Zones. Reach out to RIDOH's HEZ Communications Lead to share:
  • News and upcoming events related to your Health Equity Zone.
  • Feedback on how we can strengthen our communications.
  • Plans for developing communications materials or holding public events.
Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908
Health Information Line: 401-222-5960 / RI Relay 711

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