Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Selects Ten Communities as 2020-2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winners
Princeton, N.J.—Today the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced the ten communities chosen to receive the 2020–2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. The Prize honors and elevates communities at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. The 2020–2021 Prize winners are: Addison, Ill.; Alamosa County, Colo.; Chickaloon Native Village; Drew, Miss.; Howard County, Md.; National City, Calif.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; Rocky Mount, N.C.; Thunder Valley Community—Oglala Lakota Nation (Oceti Sakowin Territory); and Worcester, Mass.
Each winner will receive a $25,000 prize, join a growing network of Prize-winning communities, and have their accomplishments shared broadly to inspire other communities across the nation.
Prize communities share a commitment to investing in a broad range of solutions and coordinated steps to usher in lasting change.
More about the winners:
Addison, Ill.—Addison, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, is transforming health through cross-sector partnerships and community-led action. Addison fosters a sense of belonging across diverse cultures in its community and resident leadership. As examples: The YES! Program empowers young people to be change agents as they lead tough conversations on issues important to them. Residents and community leaders work hand in hand to bridge gaps to resources through key coalitions and entities such as the Addison Public Library, Addison Resources Connect, Addison Early Childhood Collaborative, and the Workforce Development Committee. Bolstered by its strong manufacturing industry ties, Addison increases pathways to local jobs through training and apprenticeship programs. The community is creating a culture that ensures there’s no unmet need for Addison residents.
Alamosa County, Colo.—Alamosa County prioritizes its policies and resources to ensureall have the opportunity to be healthy, from those who have lived in the county for 15 generations to recent arrivals. Located in the San Luis Valley, Alamosa County harnesses the power of the outdoors benefit all. The City of Alamosa and SLV GO! partnered to double the city’s trail mileage to over 24 miles, making recreation more accessible. SLV GO! promotes the value of spending time outdoors to improve health and wellness. The Rio Grande Farm Park serves a dual purpose: offering regenerative agriculture educational opportunities and providing land access and economic boon for local farmers. Grassroots, nonprofit, and local government leaders collaborate to change policy, such as turning the Healthy Eating, Active Living initiative into official city policy and the SLV Health Access Risk Reduction Project, a comprehensive harm reduction program.
Chickaloon Native Village—Building connections across the larger community has fostered an inclusive culture of health in Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kayax (Chickaloon Native Village) located in its ancestral lands of the Matanuska Watershed within southcentral Alaska. The Tribe made health services at C’eyiits’ Hwnax Life House Community Health Clinic, education at Ya Ne Dah Ah school, and Chickaloon Area Transit System available to all residents in the area, allowing them to share in the Ahtna culture and language. They are asserting their sovereign rights and reclaiming their language and culture through connections across generations, protecting and stewarding the environment that sustains them by restoring Moose Creek and the surrounding area, partnering with organizations to address racism through workshops like the Mat-Su Equity Dialogues, and creating opportunities to reduce trauma for children and strengthen community resilience.
Drew, Miss.—A small rural town, Drew, Miss., is revitalizing its community while honoring its roots. By leaning into resident-led solutions, community leaders and partners have come together to think big about what is possible. They enforced city policies to demolish blighted homes to prepare underutilized land for new, affordable homes...