Building Connections is an Rx Foundation Priority
The Rx Foundation values building relationships and peer-learning, and believes that these are important elements of our grant partnerships. We are committed to creating opportunities for our partners to learn from each other, to build relationships, and to collaborate. With 20 years of relationships and a broad network, the Rx Foundation often functions as a hub for connecting leaders, organizations, and resources.
Rx Advocacy Partners Network
In April 2020, in the chaos of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rx Foundation convened our first virtual meeting of Building Capacity for Health Advocacy grant partners. More than 20 people joined that first meeting, from 15 organizations, and since then the network has met quarterly. The agenda for each meeting is developed in partnership with grant partners, who take the lead in sharing their work and discussing their challenges and opportunities, finding inspiration and solidarity in these conversations. Some of these partners were already networked, and others had never previously crossed paths.
The Rx Advocacy Partners Network meetings focus on peer-led learning and cultivating an environment of learning – rather than just telling – where participants are encouraged to ask questions without knowing all the answers.
This network is the hub around which the Rx Foundation provides additional resources that go beyond grant dollars. This includes funding for training, coaching, and technical assistance with organizations like PowerLabs, Social Movement Technologies, and Families USA. It also includes support for communications capacity, such as working with Backbone Digital Leaders to create multimedia content for social media and other outreach.
COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Convening
In February 2021, the Rx Foundation convened a two-day meeting of Vaccine Equity grant partners, allies, and funders to discuss the lessons learned and ongoing challenges of reaching historically disenfranchised communities with the COVID-19 vaccines. Presenters included Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, Young Invincibles, and community leaders from Mobile, AL and Columbus, OH.
Among the grant-funded work that led to this convening, the Rx Foundation funded Grapevine Health to work with organizations in the Vaccine Equity network to reach Black and brown communities with accurate information about COVID-19 and the vaccines. This included spending time in neighborhoods with community leaders, even answering questions about the vaccines outside a gas station, as well as virtual “Ask the Doc” sessions.
Vaccine Equity Lessons
Learning from our initial round of grant funding for COVID Vaccine Equity and Access, several things were clear. We can’t only address people’s COVID prevention needs when communities are facing greater economic, housing, food security, and overall health challenges. The Rx Vaccine Equity partners are effective, trusted messengers in their communities, and understand the local context and needs. In many cases, Rx Foundation grants were the only funding that supported their COVID-related efforts. Finally, structural inequities too often keep Black-led, immigrant-led, and community-led organizations away from the tables where decisions are made and funding is decided.
In 2022 the Rx Foundation launched a series of meetings and webinars built around the belief that power is a social determinant of health. This series brings together people leading and implementing advocacy, organizing, civic engagement, and grassroots health justice work across the United States, as well as with funders, researchers and other allies who care about these issues. Together we have learned from innovative work led by the United Vision Project, Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Collaborative (MOVE), and People’s Action, and engaged with tough questions and lessons learned from Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) Los Angeles and Social Movement Technologies.