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Monday Minute with Akshara Vivekananthan

April 1, 2024 Category: Q&A

What do our leaders and institutions need to do to ensure that communities have pathways to well-paid jobs and income equality, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and access to quality education for all?

“At the core of it is listening to community showing up in community, really hearing their thoughts, hearing what their barriers are making sure that they can connect in that regard. I think that’s like a really important first step. And then of course, I think hearing their ideas as well is really critical, making sure that they feel like they have a chance at being able to thrive in their community.”

“I’ve been in the nonprofit space for a little while now. And for me, I really wanted to be able to connect with different communities and really make sure that, again, their voices are being heard, and that we are bringing solutions to them that really matter and that are effective ways that they can get involved in their community, whereas ways that they can have more access to different opportunities, different programming across all sorts of different spaces and sectors.”

 

What does HealthSpark do to empower communities?

“We invest in organizations coalition’s and networks that are working to promote a more just and healthy, thriving community here in montgomery county. We do grant making. And so we have a couple of grant cycles a year, where we invite nonprofit organizations in our county, that are working on a safety net of services here in the county, to apply. And we award applications, organizations that are doing great work and support their work as well. Another way that we really connect with our communities, we host a few community practices every year, on a variety of different topics. Most recently, we had one on the homelessness crisis and the affordable housing crisis here in the county. And it’s really our way of making sure that we’re talking about ideas, and innovative solutions. And so that way we can come together as a community, and really actively work on those solutions together.”

 

One piece of advice for leaders

“LISTEN”

“One piece of advice I want leaders to take into the week I would say I know it’s really simple but I really mean it. I listen, listen to your community. I think that is the most simplest thing you can do is listening to their needs hearing what they really want. And I think that could lead to a whole building of different ideas and opportunities for them. So for me, I think at the core of it is simply listen.”

From our Partners

 

Akshara Vivekananthan is the Program Officer for HealthSpark Foundation

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