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Symposium: Community Agency & Health, Oakland

Bridging Health & Community’s Inaugural Symposium

Community Agency & Health

May 15-16, 2017, Oakland, California


For information & to Register, Click HERE!

Ticket Prices

  • $300 ($250): Community-Based Organizations, Community Residents & Students
  • $500 ($450): Government, Nonprofit & University
  • $1100 ($1000): Standard

The figures in brackets are the early bird prices, which end March 17th.

Bridging Health & Community is holding a symposium to help understand how fostering community agency is key to the future of health. And fundamental to sustainable and equitable communities.

Learn from innovators building inclusive partnerships between the health sector and local communities. Understand the challenge. Explore two case studies. And get practical tips through six breakouts.


Leading practitioners will explore the opportunities and the challenges in fostering community agency.

  • Phillip Thompson, Associate Professor, Urban Planner & Political Scientist, MIT
  • David Chavis, CEO, Community Science
  • Risa Wilkerson, Executive Director, Active Living By Design
  • Leonard Syme, Professor of Epidemiology and Community Health (Emeritus), School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
  • Carl Baty, Executive Director, Rounding the Bases
  • Bridget B Kelly, Chief Delivery Officer, Bridging Health & Community
  • Pritpal S Tamber, CEO, Bridging Health & Community

Day One

9:30 am Arrival and Registration

10:00 am Welcome

10:10 am Meeting Overview

10:30 am Establishing The Tone

We want to signal to participants our belief that learning requires acknowledging and valuing the diverse backgrounds at the symposium, striving for plain language free of jargon and acronyms, and being able to challenge one another, albeit respectfully, including asking for clarifications of terms and meaning.

10:45 am Ice-Breaker and Perspective-Sharing

These activities will facilitate participants to get to know each other, start to model the participatory and mutually respectful tone for the symposium, and elicit each participant’s initial perspective on the themes on the agenda.

11:45 am Break

12:15 pm Table Top Lunch Conversations

Assigned table-mate cohorts will be facilitated to get to know one another and share a challenge that each hopes this meeting will help.

1:00 pm Setting The Stage

Overarching Question: There is now widespread recognition that improving health will take much more than “sick care” and reducing of bio-medically-defined risk factors. There are a lot of meetings, papers, reports, pilot projects, and initiatives related to this, whether they be framed as social determinants, upstream factors, systemic barriers, or a number of other names. So why is it that we have made little progress?

Overview Presentation

  • The evidence for agency, how it can underpin health care and public health, and why it matters of its own accord.
  • The need to create mutually accountable partnerships between institutions and communities
  • The need for new ways of thinking about how to understand, assess, and communicate value, including what communities value and the value of ‘health’ beyond biological measures.
  • The need for capital – financial, political, and social – to be invested in ways designed to explore and nurture new ways of working

Pathways to Solutions
A facilitated conversation to surface the intersections among these perspectives and how new ideas for solutions might emerge from thinking about them together instead of each in their own “lane.”

Tying it Together: Sustainable Thinking

2:30 pm Break

3:00 pm Small Group Workshopping

Using the framing of a hypothetical case example, participants will be facilitated in small groups to reflect on the ‘Setting the Stage’ session, share whether and how it affects their view of the barriers to progress, and as a group surface ways to approach things differently in the three areas of need.

4:15 pm Break

4:30 pm A Candid Conversation About Failure

A candid conversation about flaws in reasoning and failures in health and public health, including ideas that have been tried, why they have failed, and how we can learn from their failing. Followed by a facilitated, open Q&A/discussion.

5:30 pm Table Top Reflections

Table-mates will be facilitated to share what struck them about the day, including what stakeholder they’d like to engage who may be an ‘ally’ in addressing their challenge.

5:50 pm Wrap-up

Day Two

8:00 am Arrival and Breakfast

8:30am Table Top Conversations

Table-mates will be facilitated to share reflections from Day One and identify who they want to talk to that they wouldn’t have seen as a resource prior to the symposium.

9:00 am Case Examples

  • Building Healthy Communities, South Kern
  • Healthy Buildings Program, Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative

Each case presentation will be developed and led by a community team featuring four perspectives: someone leading the work, someone evaluating the work, someone thinking about sustainable finance for the work, and a resident in the community who is involved in the work. There will be a facilitated conversation among the representatives, followed by an open Q&A/discussion.

10:45 pm Break

11:15 pm Small Group Breakout Sessions

  • Building Relationships Between Communities and Health Institutions
  • Using Participatory Research and Evaluation
  • Creating Leadership Capacity for Long-term Change
  • Using Federal Experimentation to Foster Local Agency
  • Discovering Business Models
  • Communicating the Value of Health and Community Partnership

12:30 pm Lunch

Including facilitated “match-making”

1:45 pm Table Top Commitments

Table-mates will be facilitated in sharing their most useful take-away, as well as one short-term commitment and one long-term commitment. They will also be asked what output from the meeting would help them and what supports they suggest to build a field of practice.

3:00 pm Sharing Surprises

Participants will share something unanticipated from the meeting

3:15 pm Closing Remarks



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