On April 3rd and 4th, 2023, Southwest Organizing Project’s Healthy Southwest team held one of their monthly Public Health Ambassador (PHA) training courses. The first day focused on the understanding of Medicaid Redetermination and Medicaid MCO Transportation as to allow the PHAs to have a better understanding of which organizations offer these services and so they would be able to recommend appropriate action to community members who require them. Day one of training also looked at SMART Goal Setting that would allow Public Health Ambassadors to develop plans structured around particular goals and help them to achieve them through thorough preparation.
On Day two of training, the PHAs held discussions around 1-to-1 relational meetings and the power behind getting to know not only the other Public Health Ambassadors in their cohort, but also help them build an effective tool that would allow them to connect with leaders in their community. After holding 1-to-1 meetings, they moved into a conversation regarding a Black and Brown dialogue, led by Shelby Chaney. These training sessions center around discussions that are hard to have but give those taking the training a chance to address biases that they may face or have based on one's appearance, culture or background. They tackled the subject of colorism which is defined as “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group” as well as showing powerful videos like the “The Doll Test”, which showed a video of children being asked questions regarding different colored dolls with some shocking answers.
These two days of training allowed the PHAs to discuss shared experiences, build rapport with one another, expand their knowledge of their community and services offered within them, and reflect on what it means to be inclusive to others when trying to create a healthy environment of diverse individuals.