Weekly Bulletin 9/14

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The following bulletin includes information regarding the Well Connected Communities initiative for the week of September 14, 2020:

In this Edition

  • WCC Portal Launch
  • Action Plan Feedback Summaries
  • Q3 Reporting
  • Upcoming Wave 1 Community Evaluation Activities
  • Youth Voice and Leadership
  • PD Calendar
  • News, Research, and Resources from the Field

WCC Portal Launch

  • We’re excited to invite you use the newly redesigned WCC portal that was launched September 1, 2020. Here are two videos to help you get started:

Once you’ve taken the tour, you can access the site at: portal.wellconnectedcommunities.org. For more information on how to access the portal, please refer to the email “Welcome to the WCC Portal” sent by Jennifer Grizzard Ekzarkhov on September 1, 2020.

For right now, the community portal is being used to capture quarterly reporting and store community core documents (like action plans, CHNAs, etc.). We are also working to flesh out the resource library. Our focus is on building a portal that is useful and that stimulates engagement between users. For now, those users will be Extension personnel.

We activated accounts for the PIs, Co-PIs, State POCs, and Community Leads who we had listed in our Community Tracker spreadsheet. We know there have been some staff additions and departures since we last updated the sheet, so we are looking to correct those ASAP. If you have staff who fall into any of those categories who did NOT get the Portal welcome email, please let us know so we can activate their accounts.  

Since the portal is brand new, we are adding accounts in phases. In the next phase we expect to add Master Volunteer, Youth Adult Partnerships, and Communications Contacts (if those people do not already have accounts via other roles). Question: Do you have staff who are doing WCC work that don’t fall into any of the categories listed above? If so, please reply to this email and let us know.

Ideas for how this Portal will be used will continue to evolve. We heard some of your thoughts during our walk-through on the PI call last month. Please keep those ideas coming. Feel free to reach out and let us know what you hope to see.

Action Plan Feedback Summaries

  • We will be sending Community Action Plan Feedback Summaries to PIs and community POCs that submitted a Community Action Plan. We have tried to provide meaningful and helpful information, while also taking into consideration the feedback PIs gave us during the PI Call, as well as paying attention to adjustments due to COVID 19.

Communities should review the feedback summaries and use the feedback to make updates to their action plans as needed. Updated action plans should be uploaded to the WCC community portal by November 30, 2020. If you have questions about the feedback summary, the action plan timeline, or would like some additional coaching please reach out to Shay McNeil (smcneil@fourhcouncil.edu).

Q3 Reporting

  • The Q3 report will be due September 30, 2020.
    • The reporting will consist of each community submitting a community report – submitted via the WCC community portal
    • one LGU Financial Status Report – submitted through WebGrants
    • one Tobacco Separation Protocol validation letter – can be submitted via WebGrants as an attachment with Financial Status Report or emailed to smcneil@fourhcouncil.edu.

Upcoming Wave 1 Community Evaluation Activities

  • The  Center for Community Health and Evaluation, the evaluation partner for WCC, will be conducting their first major evaluation data collection effort at the community level. This first year of the evaluation, CCHE will be focusing on communities that participated in Wave 1 of WCC. In the coming weeks, CCHE will be reaching out to PIs who started in Wave 1 for support on the following evaluation activities:
  • Community coalition surveys – CCHE will launch a survey at the end of August/beginning of September to collect information on how community collaboration is going, what is working well, and where there might be opportunities to strengthen partnerships. You will receive a report that includes the survey results for all of your communities that complete the survey for your use and so that you can share back with your communities.
  • Youth interviews – CCHE would like to ask PIs of Wave 1 communities to help identify 1 youth who would be willing to talk about their experience with WCC. The youth could be from any of your communities that engaged in Wave 1; ideally they have been participating in WCC for at least one year, but that’s not required. CCHE aims to conduct the youth interviews in early September.

Youth Voice and Leadership

  • Youth Food Security Webinar Postponed

The Youth Food Security Webinar originally scheduled for September 23 has been postponed.  At the September 2 Youth Introductory Session, there was wonderful WCC work already in progress engaging youth leadership in organizing the distribution of blessing boxes (similar to Little Free Libraries), and other food distribution techniques.  If anyone has youth who would like to help plan and carry out a youth-driven food security webinar, please let JoAnne Leatherman (jleatherman@fourhcouncil.edu) know by the end of September.  We would like to highlight your work through this webinar, which will likely be in late October.

PD Calendar

  • THIS WEEKLeading Together for Equity and Inclusion Webinar

September 17, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Presenter: Dorothy Freeman, PhD

Dr. Freeman is the Director of Equity at National 4-H Council whose role is to lead Council to strategically align its programmatic priorities and vision with the Equity, Access and Belonging Committee. Dr. Freeman has a distinctive career in 4-H Extension where she was Associate Dean and State 4-H Director with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development and 25years Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech University. 

Dr. Freeman will delve into the topics listed below and her presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with some Wave 2 grantees:

  • How are we defining equity and inclusion? Holding it as a value? [CES & 4-H]
  • What is Extension/4-H learning about equity during this time of multiple pandemics (COVID-19 and widespread calls for racial justice)
  • How are we adapting/moving to action?
  • What are the unique challenges and opportunities related to WCC? What is our unique role?
  • The Extension Model as a community engagement model.

Register Here

News, Research and Resources from the Field:

  • NEW Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA)

The National Council for Behavioral Health is pleased to announce that they are currently accepting applications to become implementing sites of teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA).  This new version of Mental Health First Aid (specifically for teens) is an evidence-based training that was brought to the United States in partnership with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. It teaches high school students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades how to identify, understand and help their friends with mental health and substance use challenges and how to get the help of an adult quickly.   While other version Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) have been widely utilized by Cooperative Extension, tMFA has just recently been made available to schools and youth serving organizations partnering with schools that are interested in delivering the program in their community.  To learn more visit https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/become-an-instructor/applying-to-teen-mental-health-first-aid-information-and-resources/

The mission of CRFS is to engage Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems. The Center is committed to understanding the ways in which power and inequity manifest within the food system, such as structural racism. An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System contains selected resources and publications focused on recent research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system. The seventh edition of the resource, published in January 2020, contains over 275 citations including 10 new videos and 46 new journal citations. All entries in the annotated bibliography are also available in Zotero, a free software that lets users easily save, manage, and cite sources. The Zotero library for the annotated bibliography is available at: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1972910/annotated_bibliography_on_structural_racism_present_in_the_u.s._food_system.  

We are seeking citations that refer to research, analysis, outreach, and commentary on BOTH structural racism AND the U.S. food system.  

While there are many important resources on racism and anti-racism in the U.S., and/or on the state of the food system, our key filter for inclusion in the bibliography is a link between structural racism and one or more aspects of the U.S. food system. 

The following citations will be accepted for review: 

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles, and peer-critiqued articles, reports, bulletins or books 
  • Other scholarly or substantive information produced outside traditional commercial publishing and distribution channels (e.g. theses and dissertations, technical reports, working papers, evaluation reports, conference proceedings, publications from NGOs, INGOs, think tanks and policy institutes, patent, and preprints) 
  • Video resources including documentaries, motion pictures, television series, TED Talks and interviews 
  • Recordings of webinars  

We will not be including blogs, newspaper articles, tweets, podcasts, etc. because of the sheer volume of these resources. Once a suggestion is submitted there will be a simple vetting process to determine the fit of submission; please note that not all submissions may be included in the eighth edition. We hope to publish the eighth edition by mid-January 2021. 

Deadline for citation submission is Monday, September 21 , 2020 at 11:59 PM, PST. 

Send all submissions or questions to Dr. Kimberly N. Carr at carrkim1@msu.edu or Rich Pirog at rspirog@msu.edu 

When making a submission please include (if possible)

  • Author(s) 
  • Title 
  • Web link to easily locate the submission 
  • Full citation in APA format (if available) 

Explore the seventh edition of An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System at foodsystems.msu.edu/annotated-bib. Please visit the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems website for more information about the center. 

For over a decade, Healthier Generation has empowered kids to develop lifelong healthy habits by ensuring the environments that surround them support their physical, social and emotional health. 

  • NEW Teens Fight Urban Food Desert

Two friends are in the 4-H poultry project. They attend the National 4-H Youth Summit on Agriscience and get excited about possibilities. Fast forward and they have expanded their project into a “Fight the Food Desert: Raise Chicken in Urban K.C.” community action plan, making a difference in their community one chicken coop at a time.  This article gives a good summary of their project. They have plans in place to continue educating community members about raising chickens as they continue to upcycle coops to have them ready for installations. They want to teach other youth this model so it can be replicated

  • From eXtension
  • Healthy Eating, Social Media, & Lower Income Communities – A Research Review
    Aaron Weibe, Communication & Engagement Manager, eXtension Foundation

Jessica Larson – Public Affairs Specialist, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture provided a research review that offered insights on how various SNAP-eligible audiences use social media channels, particularly when it comes to health and healthy eating…Learn More

  • Asynchronous Programs
    Callie Ward, Extension Assistant Professor, Utah State University

Nearly five dozen Cooperative Extension professionals from across the nation gathered to discuss asynchronous programs and how we are making our formerly face-to-face programs available to clientele who want to learn on their own time not necessarily at the same time as everyone else like a webinar…Learn More

  • National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health – Apply Now
    Roger Rennekamp, Extension Health Director, ECOP
    Subgroup: Health & Well-Being

Applications are now being accepted from communities interested in participating in the tenth cohort of the The National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH). NLAPH helps teams of leaders from diverse sectors including health, housing, education, transportation, and law enforcement to build…Learn More

  • Voices for Healthy Kids Policy Campaign Grant

Short Form Application Deadline: Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income.

This call for applications has a narrowed list of current policy issues to ensure a balanced grant portfolio. We will accept applications on the following policy issues:

  • Sugary Drink Tax and Investment
  • Healthier Options at Restaurants
  • School Food Access and Healthy Quality
  • Early Care and Education Security
  • Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Water Access in Schools
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Expansion and Nutrition Incentives

Voices for Healthy Kids believes campaigns are most successful through collaboration between community organizations, advocacy groups, coalitions and others. Therefore, the Policy Campaign Grant is a collaborative grant. All applications are expected to be submitted as a joint proposal of two or more organizations, either as lead and subgrantee collaboration or as co-leads. Voices for Healthy Kids values authentic community engagement and equity-building strategies in all aspects of supported campaigns and therefore requires at least one of the organizations in the joint proposal to be representative of or serve the interests of the listed priority populations.

Voices for Healthy Kids has a two-step application process in the online grant management system. First, all interested, eligible applicants must submit a short form application. Then, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application for consideration in a competitive review process.

Applications can be submitted for $50,000 – $200,000 for a duration of up to 18 months and can support non-lobbying and lobbying activities.


No parent should have to decide between earning a living or caring for a new baby, especially during a pandemic. But does everyone have a fair opportunity to access their benefits?

A new study finds that these policies can risk leaving out the people they’re trying to support.

Read the latest research >

Vol. 39, No. 7, July 2020 | Food, Income, Work & More

This month’s issue of Health Affairs contains a number of articles examining programs and initiatives outside the health care system that affect people’s health—factors that promote a culture of health. In preparing the issue, I spoke with Sir Michael Marmot, who has led efforts around the world to get policy makers to understand and act on the role social factors play in health and health equity. An edited transcript of my interview with him appears in the journal, and the full audio can be found online. We also continue to publish articles about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on a fast track, with the final version of four of those articles appearing this month.