September 20, 2014

On Strength, Courage, Dignity: Ruby Dee

The kind of beauty I want is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within, strength, courage, dignity. —Ruby Dee

Memorial Service at The Riverside Church of New York
Saturday, September 20, 2014


August 28, 2014

Justice and Healing

Which images will history capture? Top and bottom left:  August 2014 in Ferguson, MO a peaceful, interracial and interracial candlelight vigil.  Photo by Stephanie Troutman; hashtag #HealSTL. Top and bottom right:  Members of the 1961 Washington Freedom Riders Committee en route from New York City; 1960 Greensboro Lunch Sit-in at the F.W. Woolworth luncheon counter.  source:  Library of Congress

This was the culture
from which I sprang
This was the terror
from which I fled.

—Richard Wright, Black Boy

On the eve of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, scholar, poet and NAACP co-founder W.E.B. DuBois died while he was living in Accra, Ghana.  DuBois had a remarkably long auspicious life.  His seminal work The Souls of Black Folks lives on to inform diaspora mindsets. We live in a time where questions of double-consciousness and the veil continue to be as relevant as the problem of the color line.

New crossroads have emerged where a growing diversity meets increasing inequality over a deeply rooted historical landscape of injustice.   In bearing witness to an unfolding stream of injustice across America this is an undeniable time in our nation.  We are reminded that while much has been accomplished through the Civil Rights era there remains more work ahead for justice and healing in America.

In Ferguson, Michael Brown was laid earlier this week leaving his family, community and a nation to mourn with unanswered questions about our live. A work for justice continues with physical and emotional costs that require a new sustainable, collective strength and resilience enabling forces that can shed light in the darkest of places of our hearts and minds.  

Here are a few suggestions to remain healthier and strong for the days ahead: 
  •  Schedule personal time for physical, meditation and/or faith practices.  Healthier nutritional practices can make difference.  Drink water throughout the day.  Get enough sleep.

I have always believed that exercise is the key not only to physical health, but to peace of mind.
                                                       —Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
  • Reflect. Take a look in your mirror. Reflection is an informative process that helps establish authenticity.
  • Read beyond the pages of social media. Use poetry, essays, stories and books to open your consciousness, critical thought are necessary for growth and development. 
  •  Take on creative experiences with art, music, dance and other forms work for good on the heart and mind.  
  •  Talk with family and friends about your views with respect, but let your voice be heard. Informed differences in opinions and ideas can improve understanding if we are open.  Ask questions. 
Whatever you do let light and truth be your guide for justice.   Share your insight.

June 25, 2014

SOCAP Health Market

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age...shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.  —World Health Organization (Rio Declaration, 2012)

Over the next few days SOCAP Health will consider the potential of the annual $2.7 trillion U.S. healthcare market for healthier communities.  Healthcare is built on a patchwork of systems driven by illness and disease in clinical health care. Health is more than an absences of disease. For health we must consider physical, mental as well as social well-being. 

Across our nation there is evidence of a health disadvantage. "Shorter Lives, Poorer Health" a report by the The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council recognizes significant shortfalls in improving life expectancy and health.  

SOCAP has joined forces with The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, The New York Academy of Medicine and the Build Healthy Places Network to convene an in-depth conversation about what creates health in our society, and where entrepreneurial and funding/investing opportunities exist.  A systems approach to the social determinants of health opens up entrepreneurial opportunities and new investment frameworks that can drastically reduce healthcare costs and improve lives.  This conversation will explore frameworks and look holistically at health systems, social systems and solutions that generate wellbeing in communities. See how incentives can be better aligned to drive outcomes through case studies of organizations that are leading the field and creating the outcomes we seek.

You can follow and join the conversation as the Centers for Disease Control hosts a livestream broadcast. Use social media hashtag #SOCAP


As you watch and listen consider the following:
  • In cross sector efforts definitions and terms are important.  For example: 
    • CDC: community development corporation (#commdev); the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    • Social Impact Bond (SIB): while a bond is a debt financing tool between investors and borrowers, a social impact bond is a contractual commitment and investment aimed to yield social outcomes with public sector savings. 
    • Social capital means social networks have value. 

  • Often unheard, the most vulnerable populations and communities should be stakeholders in these efforts.
  • New partners and partnership matter more than ever including health care, public health, business, philanthropy and government moving at scale to shape healthier communities. 
Looking forward to a better future for health.

Katherine Ellington


support innovations and investments that build healthy communities.
  • Learn how current health and social service systems are promoting innovative solutions to improving health in low-income communities
  • Meet entrepreuneurs and policymakers working at the intersection of finance and health
  • Hear from organizations whose investments are generating economic gains and improvements in health and well-being
SOCAP is an organization and an event series that connects leading global innovators—investors, foundations, institutions and social entrepreneurs—with opportunities to direct the power and efficiency of market systems towards social impact.
SOCAP has joined forces with The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, The New York Academy of Medicine, and the National Partnership for Community Development & Health to convene an in-depth conversation about what creates health and where entrepreneurial and funding/investing opportunities exist to build healthy communities.
Now in its second year, SOCAP Health will bring together leaders in finance, policy, health systems, community development, philanthropy, and impact investing to work together to create a new market that values health beyond traditional health care. We need to explore how to leverage capital from all sectors to support promising investment opportunities in programs that can create the conditions critical to improving health in communities through economic development, food security, built and natural environments, education and transportation, and building community resilience.
It is important that the broader health care, public health, and health policy communities join these conversations and help shape their outcomes—please join us for this exciting event.
- See more at:

June 07, 2014

Maya Angelou Memorial Service

Passing on is moving forward as well as beyond.  Join the world in honoring the life of Maya Angelou.

March 03, 2014

Winter care

Another winter storm system is moving across the nation.  New York City has not had this much of a mix of bitter cold and snow for many years. As snowstorms come and go each pattern is unique. The moderate chill in the air in the early days of winter of December seem less memorable as each storm and cold air pressure system brings another round of uncertainty for the days ahead.   Instead of dreaming of spring and summer remain in this season.  Find new comfort, warmth and come up with ideas for pleasure in response in response to a winter mix of emotions and stress.

Make good use of time

Be present.  Winter stress is real.  Winter blues are real. Winter fun is real. Winter love is real.

Check-in with family and friends especially the elderly consider making time for longer cheerful conversations. Share good memories with a hot cup of tea at the kitchen table.  Experience the wonder of the season through the excitement that babies and children often feel at the sight of their first snowflakes. 

In winter sunrises and sunsets can be phenomenal!

Central Park just at the break of day.
Days are shorter and timing is everything. For example, a late start can add more stress and time to an already challenging commute. Running late can be erupt anxious feelings including frustration.  Traffic moves slower especially with potholes and since transportation systems are prone to delays.  You have check and recheck for updates as you travel.   When the snow comes making time to dig out may mean less rest, but may also exercise.  Be sure to stretch and warm up before you get out there with your shovel.

You may be moving at a slower pace, but winter beyond the holiday season can be an intense time.  Adjusting work, school and other schedules with late starts and early dismissals interrupts flow and output.  Missed and delayed deadlines may be unavoidable so get creative.  Setup some time and space to work from where you are, online grocery shopping may save time, if possible take the train or bus so that you have time to read up or rest.

Carry on and also take time relax consider a weekend afternoon nap. Catch up on bookshelf reading, music or movies.

Physical care matters

It’s a wintry mix outside, but sitting too long is not a good plan. Find ways to stay active. We need exercise, but activities we take on for pleasure and relaxation may be cancelled, you can turn up some good music, get up and move at home. 

Winter metabolism is different

·      Breathe deeply: inhale and exhale.
·      Stay hydrated: drink warm and hot water, add lemon, ginger or some other flavor.
·      Protect skin: bathe and moisturize entire body (including lips)s.

Dress for the season!  Layers, hats, scarves and boots can make all the difference as our bodies work hard at thermoregulation in cold weather.  Hypothermia and frostbite are real challenge so be sure to stay warm and dry.

We tend to eat more during the winter and so having a crockpot, stew or other one pot meals can be fulfilling, budget friendly and time saving.   There are also great seasonal options for fruits and vegetables that can stretch you budget and add flavor for a healthier plate. Go on try new foods!

Yum! A handful of pomegranate seeds.
Soup is on at Lunch Box 23 in New Haven, CT.
 Take note: Prepare for the unexpected.

January 14, 2014

2014 Health Matters Conference

Watch live or review:

The Health Matters conference is an annual event that showcases what the Clinton Foundation's strategic partners from across sectors – business, technology, sports and philanthropy – are doing to contribute to the health and wellness of people throughout the United States. 
Join the dialogue on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using #HealthMatters2014.
- See more at:
The Clinton Foundation's Health Matters conference convenes strategic partners for thought-leadership and action on health and wellness.  Follow and participate using the hashtag #HealthMatters2014

Online viewers can join the dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #HealthMatters2014. The Clinton Health Matters Initiative works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. - See more at:
Online viewers can join the dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #HealthMatters2014. The Clinton Health Matters Initiative works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. - See more at:

Online viewers can join the dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #HealthMatters2014. The Clinton Health Matters Initiative works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. - See more at:

January 01, 2014

New Year Inaugurations

It's a new year! What's your take?  Do you have expectations for the days ahead?  In New York City today:

Mayor Bill de Blasio will be sworn in at the 2014 NYC Inauguration by President Bill Clinton.

Also noteworthy in the region:   State Sen. Toni Harp is being sworn in as the city of New Haven's 50th and first African American female mayor.