Department of Geography and the Environment

Ph.D. Alumnus Naya Jones Selected for New National Leadership Program Focused on Health Equity

Fri, September 29, 2017
Ph.D. Alumnus Naya Jones Selected for New National Leadership Program Focused on Health Equity
Food for Black Thought facilitating a Food Maps workshop with Creative Action, Austin, Texas

Leaders from Honolulu, HI to Providence, RI have been selected to participate in the Culture of Health Leaders program. As one of 40 selected applicants, Naya Jones, Department of Geography and the Environment alumna, joins leaders from across the country. Program participants will collaborate to advance a Culture of Health—one that places well-being at the center of every aspect of life.

During the three-year program, Jones will bridge mind/body wellbeing and food justice through community-based research and partnerships. She will build on her doctoral research about black food geographies while growing a social enterprise, Get Rooted Consulting LLC. Along the way, Jones will hone leadership skills through professional coaching and mentorship.

Culture of Health Leaders is co-led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity and CommonHealth ACTION with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

 “The Culture of Health Leaders program offers an opportunity to gain skills and apply them at the same time. I’m excited to collaborate with other program participants from across the nation,” said Jones. “The issues that Get Rooted Consulting addresses are multi-sited. I look forward to the work we do being multi-sited, too.”

As an action consultancy, Get Rooted partners with organizations to promote community wellbeing that is grounded in social justice. Get Rooted also houses a food justice education initiative co-founded by Jones and her partner Kevin Thomas (Food for Black Thought) and culturally-responsive meditation programs (RootWork).

The new 40 leaders will join the efforts of the first cohort of Culture of Health Leaders and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Program partners who will provide training and coaching include the American Planning Association, Build Healthy Places Network, Center for Creative Leadership, Institute for Alternative Futures, and Leadership Learning Community.

"We're excited to welcome the second cohort of Culture of Health Leaders, who are authentically engaging with communities to elevate their voices and create an equitable, healthy nation," said Brian Smedley, Culture of Health Leaders co-director and executive director and co-founder of the National Collaborative for Health Equity.

Natalie Burke, Culture of Health Leaders co-director and executive director of CommonHealth Action notes, “These leaders demonstrate a willingness to engage in the deep, transformative work necessary to strengthen their leadership and their communities while creating opportunities for all people to achieve their best possible health.”

Culture of Health Leaders is one of a number of leadership development programs supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). These programs continue RWJF’s legacy of supporting the development and diversity of leaders. The next application period for many of these programs will open in early 2018. Additional information can be found at cultureofhealth-leaders.org.

 

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  • Department of Geography and the Environment

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