What a wild couple of months we’ve had. Another COVID surge, long-lasting impacts from several atmospheric rivers (a new term for me to learn), and winter weather that saw us at 7 degrees on December 26, and 46 degrees one week later on January 2. Definitely not our typical winter weather.
We have been working with community-based organizations to form what we’re calling a Community Response Network, building relationships so that we will be more prepared when the next disaster comes. Most often the organizations that step forward are fueled by volunteers, and they amaze us as they step up and step in, time and time again to help neighbors and their communities recover.
Recently, one of our partners (Community Initiatives) introduced us to the concept of liminal spaces – the space between the known and unknown – and it appears to be a space that North Sound ACH finds itself in often. Marco Morales, North Sound ACH project manager, shared a similar concept of Nepantla – a Nahuatl word that represents the notion of ‘in-between-ness.’ We are in between a very structured Medicaid Transformation Project and a future state focused on advancing equitable well-being. We get to take what we’ve learned over the past five years and design our next steps.
As we collaborate with local and regional leaders, the tension in this space is important to acknowledge. Co-design and co-creation don’t always come with strict borders and rules, with answers to every question. It is a space for creativity and design. We recognize that it’s uncomfortable for some. We’re used to rules; even though we bristle against them, they let us know where the borders are for what’s allowed or not allowed. This liminal space is exciting, uncomfortable, and terrifying at the same time.
North Sound ACH is looking for organizations and individuals who want to join this creative space with us! Check out the commitments that partners are making this quarter, working in concert to elevate strategies that work. We know the end that we’re seeking – to create a just and inclusive culture and the necessary conditions required for all community members to thrive.
Whether we’re talking recovery from COVID or flooding, advancing equity, or advocating for health and social services that meet the needs of all in a community, we embed targeted universalism in all discussions, knowing we need multiple strategies in order for everyone to meet any common goal that we define. There are moments of conflict with those who want a single strategy to rally around, but we know that single strategies do not reach everyone, and we don’t want to leave anyone behind.
We hope you will check out the Collaborative Action Network, and think about whether this is a space you’re interested in joining. We’ll be announcing ways to engage in the coming months. Hope to see you there!