This fall, I took 12 weeks off from Center for Health Progress as part of our sabbatical policy. It was the most restorative, peaceful, and joyful time in my adult life. As a result, in only a couple weeks, my entire body felt different. I was not tied to external commitments or tasks (or screens!). I did so much more “being” and less “doing.”
Although it’s certainly an adjustment to return to morning alarms and calendar invites, I am more committed than ever to being part of a team that fights for a future society that recognizes the full humanity of all of us.
At Center for Health Progress, we consistently evolve to be a workplace that reflects the world we want to live in. The sabbatical policy is one example (please, please reach out, if you want to learn more about it). We grapple with the tension of living our values while also participating in a racist, capitalist society, and the nonprofit industrial complex.
Our Strategic Framework
We had many of these conversations as part of our strategic planning process with our core leaders, staff, and Board. They led us to our 2021 - 2024 strategic framework and a new version of our mission, vision and operating structures:
Mission: We build power to win recognition, rights, and resources for our communities in our ongoing fight for health equity.
Vision: Health care systems value humanity and wellness over profit and center the power of historically and systematically oppressed communities.
- Embed racial equity and Black liberation across all internal and external activities
- Make decisions in a way that centers core leaders, dismantles white supremacy culture, and combats hierarchy
From Strategic Plan to Practice
Our strategic framework serves as a guide as we work to pass policy, shift public discourse, and insure investment in the root causes of health inequities. Externally, it looks like focusing on community power building and health care policy designed by and for those most impacted by our racist health care system. Internally, we focus on personal growth and healing (e.g. race-based caucusing and coaching), interpersonal transformation (e.g. building common analysis and practicing trauma-informed healing), and policy, process, and structural changes.
Recently, Board members voted on revised bylaws to reflect these structures. The new bylaws incorporate stronger equity requirements for the organization and Board, more clearly define our membership, and flatten the hierarchy of the Board to share power. Furthermore, we are currently partnering with a consultant to develop a new internal staffing structure that flattens the hierarchy and decision-making across the organization.
I am excited to continue focusing on the work that gets us closer to our vision. Thank you for being part of shaping the future we imagine.
I hope everyone reading this is able to take some time to rest and rejuvenate as we close out another year full of hope, uncertainty, love, and pain. Our team will be taking last week of the year off to slow down and enjoy being with our loved ones. We will be back in January, excited about the possibilities for change that await us in 2022.