Project Dialogue to Action works to increase public awareness of racial inequities

A few people sitting around a conference table.The Jacksonville Human Rights Commission (JHRC) works to ensure that all Jacksonville residents enjoy a community free of discriminatory practices.

For more than 10 years, Project Dialogue to Action has worked to increase public awareness of racial inequities in Jacksonville. The project has focused on a variety of issues, including economic development, housing, and the criminal justice system.

A study conducted in 2008 revealed that a large number of Jacksonville’s minority residents live in a part of the city where they are exposed to greater health risks and crime-related problems. According to the study, many of these residents lack the resources to seek quality health care; and many are not treated fairly by health care providers.

To find ways to address health care inequities for people of color and low-income families, the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, together with the county health department and other community agencies, launched “Place Matters.”

This program gave residents an opportunity to talk and work together to identify needs and find ways to improve access to quality health care in low-income areas of the city.

In June 2009, program organizers increased the scope of the project. Plans included building relationships with community partners who share an interest in health care issues; developing a marketing campaign to promote the dialogue; and evaluating the effectiveness of the program. To encourage more people to take part in the community dialogue, they brought in facilitators who know a lot about race-based inequities in health care.

At an action forum in December 2009, participants formed teams to raise awareness of health care inequities and to tackle economic, environmental, nutrition, and safety issues related to health. The work of the action teams and Place Matters continues in 2010.

August 13, 2010

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Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and our tools, advice, and resources foster that kind of change. Whether you’re grappling with a divisive community issue, or simply want to include residents’ voices in city government, Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process, using a racial equity lens, can help.