Raising Our Voices, Strengthening Our Communities: Advocacy Training to Build Skills and Confidence

California Endowment



Case Study Sector


In 2001, the California Endowment determined that changes in health policy would be required in order to best meet the foundation’s mission. Systemic improvements in the health of Californians, from workplace safety to access to care and elimination of disparities, would come about when governments, businesses, and nonprofits changed their health policies and practices. Dr. Robert Ross, the Endowment’s President, knew that changing health policy and the rules that affect the health of all Californians would not happen just because they needed to change. He knew that an informed, conscientious advocacy effort was necessary. Someone or some group needed to take on the challenge and make it happen.

The next step was clear. The California Endowment would work together with Harry Snyder, Director of the West Coast Office of Consumers Union, and the National Community Development Institute to provide training and technical assistance in policy advocacy to Endowment grantees who wanted to change the systems that created barriers to their work. This collaboration created the Health Advocacy Training Series, “Advocating for Change.”

This document contains four mini case studies of leaders who attended “Advocating for Change” trainings and then applied what they learned to create community-based approaches to solving local problems:

  • California Rural Indian Health Board
  • Community Action Partnership of Orange County
  • Greenfield Walking Group
  • South of Market Community Action Network



  • Field Building
  • Partnership


  • Northern America

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