Missouri Foundation for Health is pleased to congratulate 24:1 Community for winning the Culture of Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In the true spirit of collaboration and cooperation, 24:1 is a shining example of various communities coming together to support and focus on health and well-being on so many levels. And, it’s working!
The collective efforts of this “all-for-one” approach, within predominantly black communities that many had given up on and disregarded, is an example of genuine progress on building a culture of health in our region. Working within the boundaries of the Normandy School District where schools were failing, food deserts apparent, and healthy neighborhoods non-existent, there was the possibility of tremendous impact. It made sense.
Beyond Housing was a driving force behind bringing the 24 municipalities together and ultimately forming a coalition of community champions and stakeholders that took ownership and gave residents hope. Building off of already successful relationships within the area, Beyond Housing’s community-centered tactics instilled trust with residents, galvanized leaders, and generated meaningful dialog and input from those who would be most affected. Partnerships were activated, opportunities identified, and available resources shared. Its Ask, Align, and Act approach encouraged community voices to rise to the top. Those voices were heard and valued, and as a result, residents were active in identifying issues, setting priorities, and proposing activities to make improvements, making it a win for all involved!
MFH is proud to be one of many partners committed to developing strong communities. Partners include government agencies, businesses, schools, and various nonprofits. These partnerships are especially important in such endeavors because health is so multifaceted and interconnected within every aspect of our lives. There must be a shared understanding that work geared toward healing communities and addressing health in the broader sense takes time and persistence. It’s been more than a decade since the start of the 24:1 initiative, yet momentum and focus never wavered; mutual respect and trust was fostered, along with the firm belief in the importance of health equity. This is a model of addressing community-identified health needs that’s been done right, and for that, we recognize their accomplishments and continue to be inspired by their work! Well done, 24:1. Congratulations!