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ECC Launches ‘Anchors for Resilient Communities’ in California’s East Bay

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Anchors for Resilient Communities (ARC), is a new partnership among ECC, Health Care without Harm and The Democracy Collaborative that seeks to leverage the assets and capacities of Northern California’s anchor institutions to develop healthy, resilient and economically prosperous communities, focusing on under-served neighborhoods in Richmond and Oakland, Calif. 

The initiative was launched in Oakland at The California Endowment’s (TCE) conference center on March 9 with the first in a series of planned quarterly “public learning sessions” providing opportunities for in-depth discussion and exploration of key concepts that will guide the work.

“ARC will take advantage of a unique and vibrant confluence of opportunities that have been building in the Oakland and Richmond communities,” observed EC Oakland Director Tara Marchant. “ARC will tackle key challenges of poverty and environmental health, including provisions in the Affordable Care Act that reorient the health sector towards a preventive, community-based model.”

"Contributing to this moment are over 160 hospitals currently engaged in the Healthy Food in Health Care program," says Gary Cohen, executive director of Health Care Without Harm.

In addition to Kaiser Permanente, other institutional partners participating in the ARC learning community include Alameda County Social Services, Dignity Health and University of California, Berkeley.  ARC Community Partners include TCE’s Building Healthy Community Collaboratives in Oakland and Richmond, and a number of other organizations engaged in strengthening the health and wealth of these target communities.

Funded by The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, ARC’s first phase will include a year of stakeholder engagement, interviews and research to better understand the procurement dollars (demand) and the business capacity (supply) in the East Bay.

ARC’s initial public learning session, consisting of 35-40 community and institutional participants, focused on the role that anchor institutions can play in building community wealth. Led by Ted Howard, Steve Dubb and David Zuckerman – executive director and co-founder, research director and senior research associate, respectively, of The Democracy Collaborative. That organization is best known for developing the Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of employee-owned businesses in Cleveland that provide low-income residents with jobs and ownership opportunities while helping “green” the supply chain of area hospitals and universities.

Subsequent sessions will feature presentations by Emerald Cities Collaborative on climate resilience, energy and job access and Health Care Without Harm, an alliance of more than 1,000 hospitals that is leading the movement for environmentally responsible health care, food access and improving community health. 

Additional local organizations whose work enables ARC’s foundation for success include Dignity Health, Alameda County Social Service Agency, The California Wellness Foundation and many socially innovative business and community organizations tackling new approaches to wealth generation, such as cooperative ownership.

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