On June 29th, The Fund for Santa Barbara partnered with Evolve Equity to co-convene the Central Coast Regional Equity Initiative (CCREI) Community Action Convening, a decolonized and hybrid event that gathered members of the Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo community to learn about community-led participatory and Indigenous approaches to research and what this means for equity-centered advocacy and organizing.
There were a total of 85 attendees (40 in-person and 45 virtually) that represented 6 diverse sectors including: Community-based non-profit organizations, research sector, policy makers, business sector, policy & advocacy groups, and philanthropic sector.
The event featured a presentation of critical tools from the Initiative’s recently released Strategic Action Plan, as well as time to build relationships and collaborate for equity action. A highlight from the event was the “We need/We Offer” activity where small groups discussed what they need and can offer in their role for the Initiative. Some common needs identified were time, commitment, long-term vision, data accessibility, resources/capacity, and trust . On the other hand, some key offerings were capacity building/training, spaces to host meetings, realistic perspectives grounded in community and lived experience, funding, and passion!
Based on the findings from the feedback survey, a few key takeaways were connected with committed and like-minded people, a continued dialogue about the needs in our equity discussion, and the indigenous grounding/approach. In addition, key questions regarding the CCREI Strategic Action Plan included how to implement and sustain it, the council being formed, and how the SAP can be better utilized by aligned community-based groups and be informed by their needs.
We hold so much appreciation for everyone who participated in person and online. Special thanks to our friends as Direct Relief for hosting us! Be on the lookout for more news from Regional Equity Initiative in the near future.
You can check out our photo gallery of the event here.