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Creating Great Places to Age in New Jersey

– Land use can help determine how livable, walkable and accessible a community is, especially for residents aged 55 and older. Throughout our state, communities are exploring land use considerations as a strategy for ensuring that older residents can continue to live and thrive independently in the neighborhoods they know and love. Creating Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions provides both residents and local representatives, such as members of municipal councils or land use boards, with an action plan, guidance and considerations for implementing aging-friendly land use practices at the municipal level. Developed by New Jersey Future, this resource offers a step-by-step, inclusive process to make it easier to design for the needs of older residents.

Access the guide.

Guidance: Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Crisis

– A number of states, cities and counties have declared racism to be a public health crisis or emergency. These declarations are driven by a recognition that systemic, institutional, and other forms of racism drive disparities across employment, housing, education, the justice system, healthcare, and other determinants of health. The declarations also reflect a growing acknowledgment that state and local governments must anchor efforts to eradicate the impacts of racism to truly achieve the conditions that create optimal health for all. As a follow-up to its Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Crisis: Utilizing Declarations to Address Health Inequities webinar that explored where such declarations have been issued and specific examples of action at the state and local levels, the Network for Public Health Law has release a guidance document to help stakeholders develop and implement declarations, and think through broader issues connected to race and racism.

View the recording of the Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Crisis: Utilizing Declarations to Address Health Inequities webinar.

Download the Guidance document.

Legal and Policy Strategies for Health Care and Food System Partners

– Due to the pandemic, food insecurity rates in the nation have risen to unprecedented levels, affecting not only individual health but health equity in our communities. ChangeLab Solutions has developed this guide to support on-the-ground staff in community organizations, health systems and local governments in forming partnerships to promote equitable access to healthy food. Offering law and policy considerations alongside real-world case examples, this guide shows how partners can build more resilient and just food systems for the long term.

Download the guide in its entirety or select the specific sections most relevant to your work.

Community Economic Development & Healthcare Playbook

– The Build Healthy Places Network and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations have published this playbook to help community economic developers and social enterprises partner with health care systems to create career pathways for residents, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. The Community Economic Development & Healthcare Playbook provides strategies, on-the-ground examples, and a four-step guide for initiating partnerships.

Download the Playbook

2021 County Health Rankings Data

– Good health allows people to fulfill their potential and thrive. For more than 10 years, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, has examined the multiple factors that impact health and sparked conversations with leaders from all levels and sectors about why where we live matters to our health. The Rankings make it clear that health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care such as safe, affordable housing, employment and access to transportation, green space and nutritious foods — factors that communities can do something about. While the data used to calculate ranks for the 2021 Rankings are from 2019 and earlier and therefore do not yet reflect the impact of COVID-19, they show the differences in health and opportunity by place and highlight health barriers disproportionately impacting communities of color and families with lower incomes that were likely worsened by the pandemic. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program has updated its web site with new data and resources to help communities take action.

Explore the Annual Rankings and Data Sources
Access the State Overview for New Jersey

Build Healthy Places Network Commons: Healthy Neighborhood Investments Policy Scan & Strategy Map

– Build Healthy Places Network has partnered with Shift Health Accelerator to develop the Healthy Neighborhood Investments: A Policy Scan & Strategy Map that identifies several policy actions for advancing health and racial equity through cross-sector investments. Using the Thriving Together Springboard for Equitable Recovery and Resilience as a fundamental framework and incorporating community leaders’ reflections on healthy neighborhood policy, this scan serves as a tool for community-owned priority setting that reduces inequities and strengthens neighborhood revitalization.

Download the Policy Scan

Socially Connected Communities: Solutions for Social Isolation

– This new report from Healthy Places by Design, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, reframes the conversation about social isolation and outlines five recommendations for creating socially connected communities. The lessons and recommendations shared in Socially Connected Communities: Solutions for Social Isolation are meant to inspire collective action to build relationships between neighbors, improve trust and foster an overall sense of community.

To support communities’ efforts to lead meaningful change that improves trust between neighbors and strengthens an overall sense of belonging and connectedness, Healthy Places by Design has also developed complementary Action Guides for local government and community leaders, and for philanthropic leaders.

Download the full report and Action Guides

Advocacy Toolkit for Park Equity, Life Expectancy, and Power Building

– To increase park equity, community stakeholders who traditionally have been underrepresented in parks-related decision-making must be heard. The Prevention Institute has developed an advocacy toolkit to support community-based organizations, their members, and others who are building power to secure equitable investments in park infrastructure in disinvested communities. Featuring policy recommendations, community profiles, maps and resources in both English and Spanish, the Advocacy Toolkit for Park Equity, Life Expectancy, and Power Building is part of a broader suite of resources for health equity, coalition building and collaboration that are available to communities. This toolkit is supported by the Urban Institute through funds provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

Access the Advocacy Toolkit for Park Equity, Life Expectancy and Power Building
Browse all available tools from the Prevention Institute

New Jersey Summer Meals for Kids: 2020 Snapshot

– The New Jersey Summer Meals for Kids: 2020 Snapshot is Hunger Free New Jersey’s analysis of NJ Department of Agriculture data regarding participation in two federal child nutrition programs: the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option program.
Hunger Free New Jersey determined that while New Jersey communities have steadily expanded summer meal service over the past several years, in 2019, communities only reached about one quarter of low-income students, leaving far too many without this critical nutrition that can help them return to school in the fall ready to learn.

According to this 2020 snapshot, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts, non-profits and their community partners served free meals to twice as many eligible children as in 2019 and that for the first time ever, New Jersey exceeded a national benchmark of reaching 40 percent of children who receive free or low-cost school lunch.

Click here to read more and to download the report.

NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan

– Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a term used to describe all types of traumatic experiences that occur in individuals under the age of 18, including: 1) emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; 2) emotional and physical neglect and 3) exposure to violence, substance abuse, mental illness, or parental incarceration.

To make New Jersey a trauma-informed and healing-centered state, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has released the NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan. This plan, developed with support from the New Jersey Funders ACEs Collaborative of the Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation and the Turrell Fund, explains key concepts to understand ACEs and outlines five core strategies to reduce — and ultimately prevent — ACEs in New Jersey.

Read the NJ ACES Statewide Action Plan here.

New Jersey Future Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit

– Green infrastructure can improve communities by reducing flood risk, returning clean water to the ground, cleaning and cooling the air, and aiding in pedestrian safety. To help communities better understand the impact of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection stormwater rules that go into effect on March 2, 2021, New Jersey Future has updated its Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit. The updates will help communities work with developers, organize the approval of green infrastructure projects and more.

Access the toolkit
Browse additional resources provided by New Jersey Future

The Road Forward: Health Equity in New Jersey During and After the Pandemic, a webinar panel presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

– The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound and lasting impact on neighborhoods, businesses, and people throughout the country and in New Jersey. When New Jersey eventually shifts focus from relief to recovery, plans must address the heightened impact on communities that were already lacking access to opportunities for good health before the pandemic. This webinar recording features RWJF Director of New Jersey Grantmaking, Maisha Simmons, along with a cross section of leaders as they discuss strategies and solutions needed for post-pandemic health equity in New Jersey.

Panelists include:

View the recording