New Routes to Community Health modeled a new approach for improving the health of immigrants through immigrant-created media. Eight diverse immigrant-led collaborations across the United States received three-year grants from New Routes to create locally-focused media and outreach campaigns that spoke directly to immigrants’ health concerns.
Grants were given to collaborations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St Paul, Oakland, Philadelphia and San Francisco. In these communities, immigrant groups, media makers and prominent community institutions worked together to produce original content in English as well as in immigrants’ first languages, including Amharic, Chinese, Creole, French, Lao, Somali, Spanish, Swahili and Vietnamese. Grantees created a wide range of media, including television and radio features, telenovelas, first person narratives, live theater, print, the Internet and social marketing campaigns. Partners included community institutions such as major colleges and universities, television and radio stations, an advertising agency and a museum.
New Routes to Community Health was grounded in the belief that everyone in society benefits when immigrants live healthy, productive lives. Integrating immigrants into work and social life is key to building healthy communities. Through New Routes, immigrants also built partnerships within the larger community, giving voice to their needs and enhancing their leadership and communication skills.
From Charting New Routes to Building New Bridges This “Lessons Learned” publication summarizes the principles and practices gleaned from the New Routes to Community Health project. Learn about the immigrant health and media project. Download the PDF.
New Routes to Community Health was funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Vulnerable Populations portfolio. The Benton Foundation and MasComm Associates, acting as the National Program Office, provided direction and technical assistance. This included national training conferences, site visits and on-going advice for grantees via phone, e-mail and the New Routes Web site. The NPO acted as a hub for information exchange, connecting New Routes grantees to others who are doing similar work.
New Routes to Community Health National Program Office Staff
Benton Program Liaison Karen Menichelli
Program Director Beth Mastin
Deputy Director Brenda González
Media and Technology Co-Directors Gale Petersen & Catherine Stifter
Web Developer Jeremy Isett
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About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. www.rwjf.org
About the Benton Foundation
The Benton Foundation works to ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest and enhance democracy. It pursues this mission by seeking policy solutions that support the values of access, diversity and equity, and by demonstrating the value of media and telecommunications for improving the quality of life for all. www.benton.org.
Watch and Listen
New Research & Recommendations
This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.