La Comunidad Gets Healthy Communities Grant from the Aetna Foundation

October 5, 2018
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La Comunidad has been selected as a grantee in the Aetna Foundation’s Cultivating Healthy Communities program and was awarded a $50,000 grant to implement a multilingual resident-approach to a Safe & Welcoming police policy.

The Cultivating Healthy Communities program awarded nearly $2 million in grants to 23 nonprofit organizations to advance the Aetna Foundation’s mission to improve health at the local level. Grants will support projects that will address social determinants of health such as improving access to healthy foods, promoting safe public spaces, and reducing exposure to air contaminants. The grantees were chosen based on the strength of their strategies to improve the health of their communities, with an emphasis on resident-led and policy focused initiatives.

La Comunidad, Inc. is an immigrant-led organization that has provided community organizing, ESOL education and legal support for 19 years in Everett and surrounding communities. The project comes at a critical time for Everett residents – where the city is home to 57-percent of Massachusetts’ immigrant families. La Comunidad’s resident-led program uses public dialogue and leadership trainings as a way to craft community policing strategies that protect and prioritize immigrant residents’ safety.

“For the last 15 years, the City of Everett has become one of the most diverse cities across the Commonwealth” shares Antonio Amaya, the executive director for La Comunidad, Inc. “Immigrant communities have felt many different ways about policing in Everett over the years. With La Comunidad, Inc. as a leader, and in partnership with a coalition of immigrant rights’ organizations, we aim to decrease the fear of local law enforcement because this ultimately jeopardizes the safety and health of our community. We believe that through these police dialogues we can increase collaboration and trust between Everett Police and the immigrant community.”

“The Aetna Foundation is committed to addressing the social determinants of health in order to reduce health disparities,” said Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. “By identifying community-specific challenges, and unique ways to combat them, this year’s grantees are a shining example of organizations who strive to make a measurable and positive local health impact. We are honored to contribute to the great work they are doing in pursuit of health equity.”

This funding addresses the need to improve opportunities for all Americans—regardless of income, education or ethnic background—to take an active role in living healthier lives. For more information on the Cultivating Healthy Communities program visit, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.