First Anniversary of the Backyard Initiative

[The Alley, March 01, 2010] Community residents celebrated the first year of the BYI at the Cultural Wellness Center (CWC) on January 30th. Atum Azzahir, CWC Executive Director and facilitator of BYI community meetings, reviewed the progress that has been made:

  • A community-authored definition of health
  • A set of guiding principles for BYI work in the community
  • An understanding of community dynamics before and after engagement
  • Attention paid to the history and culture of the people in the Backyard
  • The formation and development of Citizen Health Action Teams that have been working on designing projects to improve health
  • The work of the Assessment and Analysis Teams that has transformed conventional assessment into a community-owned process, and
  • The concept of a Community Commission on Health was developed and the formation of the Commission was approved by community members.

Participants left with a written report on results of the Listening Circles, a process in which community residents developed questions, were trained in facilitation and note-taking, recruited people for the Listening Circles, facilitated the discussion and took the notes, analyzed the notes using qualitative methods, and approved the report. Read the full story at

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