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Webcast, research detail best practices in media making to improve immigrant health

May 18, 2011

New Routes to Community Health announces the publication of “Immigrant Media Making — New Voices for Community Health.”

The report outlines how community organizations and those who fund social change can best leverage the power of media making to help improve health in immigrant and other communities with significant health disparities. A national webcast detailing report recommendations, to be hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Center for Nonprofits, will take place from noon-1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7. Please use this link to register for the free webcast.

The report is based on interviews with 50 leaders nationwide in sectors related to community health improvement and an in-depth analysis of relevant research. Community media makers’ recommendations include:

  • Engage community members in all aspects of the media-making process.
  • Use storytelling to motivate action for social change.
  • Carefully define the audience and create actionable messages and outreach strategies.
  • Use the media-making process as a community building and capacity building tool.

Recommendations and examples of best practices for those who fund social change include:

  • Set up financing models that enable civic participation among underserved groups.
  • Encourage communities to define the results that are important to them.
  • Design programs to allow organizations sufficient time and flexibility to build trust, establish partnerships, and support leadership and youth development in the media-making process.

Research results will be presented by report author, Mary Michaud, principal, Health Forward Consulting. A panel discussion will highlight best practices in action. Scheduled panelists include:

  • Carol Bershad, senior curriculum/instructional design associate, Education Development Center Inc. (EDC), Health and Human Development (HHD) division.
  • Mayur Patel, vice president/strategy and assessment, Knight Foundation.
  • Silvia Rivera, managing director, Chicago Public Radio’s

Who should participate:

  • Philanthropists interested in immigrant and refugee issues, community health improvement, public health, social innovation and media.
  • Staff and advisers of public agencies who are exploring innovative approaches to community engagement for health improvement.
  • Immigrant advocacy and local media makers working on community health improvement projects.

New Routes to Community Health is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with direction and technical assistance provided by the Benton Foundation and MasComm Associates. It was launched in 2007 to explore a simple idea: that immigrants could speak for themselves about health topics that mattered to them. In eight cites across the United States, what has emerged from this program is a practice-based theory about the power of immigrants using their own stories to promote community health. Visit to learn more.

The UW Center for Nonprofits provides students, scholars, and community practitioners a platform to collaborate on issues of critical importance to civil society and the nonprofit sector.