Cover of Community Engagement book The de Beaumont Foundation today announced the release of Strategic Skills for Public Health Practice: Community Engagement. 

The book brings the concept of community engagement to life through first-person stories, real-world examples, and valuable insights from leaders across sectors. Written for public health practitioners and those interested in supporting community health, its chapters, guidance, and perspectives from the field will enhance readers’ understanding of community-centered design and equip them to support organizational practices that drive better health for all. 

“Community engagement is not only a critical skill for practitioners to grasp, but a way of living our values in public health,” said editor Emily Yu, MBA, former executive director of The BUILD Health Challenge® and founder and CEO of AI PRIORI, Inc. “I am proud that this book centers the voices of community members, especially as public health practitioners seek to walk the walk on health equity and meaningful collaboration.” 

Specifically, readers will learn: 

  • How community members and leaders define engagement and opportunities for improvement 
  • How communities and institutions can collaborate for success 
  • Approaches for centering community engagement by reimagining the why, who, what, and how 
  • Ways to identify and implement strategic health and social impact practices that can lead to community transformation

Community Engagement is an excellent title to introduce the Strategic Skills for Public Health Practice series,” said Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation. “Engaging with communities in a way that is effective, respectful, authentic, and productive is an essential skill for today’s public health practitioners, and this book provides much-needed tools and guidance to bring about greater health and equity at the local level.” 

Strategic Skills for Public Health Practice: Community Engagement is the first title to be published in the series from APHA Press, an imprint of the American Public Health Association. Community engagement is one of the nine Strategic Skills for Public Health Practice, which also include: 

  • Effective communication 
  • Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) 
  • Data-based decision making 
  • Resource management 
  • Cross-sectoral partnerships 
  • Systems and strategic thinking 
  • Change management 
  • Policy engagement 

Additional titles in the series are forthcoming.  

Community Engagement is available for purchase through APHA Press and Amazon.

What people are saying about the book:

Community Engagement explores the full acknowledgement and acceptance of a community’s assets. When one activates their engagement practices that are genuinely grounded in equity, these engagements intentionally provide opportunities for shared power and decisionmaking, shared resources, and ownership of concept and practice. Community engagement is the essence of understanding that there is no work without the intellectual and social capital of the people at their discretion.”  

—Shavon L. Arline-Bradley, MPH, MDiv, President, REACH Beyond Solutions LLC; Co-Founder, The Hub Strategists; Co-Founder, Health Equity Cypher 

Community Engagement‘s refreshing approach doesn’t follow the nonprofit industrial complex status quo of ‘poverty’ as cultural attribute and shows how public health benefits from an economic diversity of community ecosystem members with the potential for new and more effective relationships.”  

—Majora Carter, CEO, Majora Carter Group LLC 

Community Engagement is not only an open letter for public leaders but for anyone working to drive systemic change in our communities. With examples across the country, this guide provides tangible and hopeful ways we can work together to dismantle unjust systems in partnership with the talents, vibrancy, and voices of our communities.” 

—Kate Emanuel, Chief Strategy Officer, The Ad Council 

“A healthier future for all requires skillful leaders working for the public’s health — those who can bring together diverse voices, experiences, and capacities to advance comprehensive and systemic change. Community Engagement offers community health practitioners a playbook and illustrative stories for doing just that: centering community in operationalizing health in all practices, all policies, and all investments.”  

—Tyler Norris, MDiv, Founding CEO, Well Being Trust; Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 

Community Engagement contributors:

  • Lisa Beczkiewicz, Missoula City-County Health Department
  • James Bell III, DSW, Just Solutions LLC
  • Natasha Butler, CHW, CHWI, Maternal Upstream Management
  • Manuel J. Castañeda, MS, MJ, New Brunswick Tomorrow
  • Jodi Cunningham, PhD, The Community Builders, Inc.
  • Patrick J. Cusick MSPH, REHS, Cleveland Department of Public Health
  • Evette De Luca, The Social Impact Artists
  • Kim Foreman, Environmental Health Watch
  • Sarah Garber, MS, Missoula City-County Health Department
  • Nichelle Gilbert, Partnership for Community Action
  • C. Benzel Jimmerson, Metro DEEP, Metropolitan Diversity and Economic Equity Partners
  • Melissa Monbouquette, MPA, The BUILD Health Challenge
  • Jennifer Muggeo, MPH, Ledge Light Health District
  • Jessica Mulcahy, MA, Success Measures at NeighborWorks America
  • Ana P. Novias, Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Read the letter from the editor, Emily Yu.

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