ECHO partner United Voices of Efland-Cheeks Inc.
ECHO’s cornerstone philosophy for community engagement is to serve the health needs of racial/ethnic minorities in our state through community-based work that promotes shared decision-making followed by actions that contribute to improvements in health outcomes. ECHO embraces community engagement as an art form and not as a pure science.
ECHO revels in establishing relationships, building trust and partnering with community individuals, gatekeepers, leaders and those who put community interest at the forefront.
ECHO holds fast to the importance of community engagement and stands firmly by the following core principles:
- Be clear about the purposes or goals of the engagement effort, and the populations and/or communities you want to engage.
- Become knowledgeable about the community and its experience with previous engagement efforts i.e., economic conditions, political frameworks, demographic trends. How does the community feel about those initiating the activity?
- Approach communities with the initial goal of establishing relationships and building trust.
- Accept community self determination as a responsibility and right of all people in the community.
- Partner with the community.
- Respect and recognize community diversity.
- Identify and mobilize community assets.
- Prepare to release control of actions or interventions to the community – be flexible.
- Be mindful of the collaborations that require long-term commitments.