“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
— Lilla Watson
The aim of the California Adolescent Health Collaborative (CAHC) is to protect and improve the wellness of California youth (with a priority focus on youth in the Bay Area and Central Valley) by building inter-sectoral connections and seeding innovation through research. In partnership with youth leaders and adult allies, CAHC impacts systems so that young people develop the knowledge, skills, and resources to transform their communities and have healthy transitions to adulthood.
Our values inform our current work, partnerships, internal team functioning, and future directions:
Youth: Youth are valued partners in all our work, they hold meaningful decision-making roles in our programs and our teams. We reject adultism and the systemic stigmatization of adolescents.
Collaboration: We engage with people, organizations and movements as allies. We strategically lead, partner, or follow in our collaborative initiatives. We are students of collective impact.
Health: We ascribe to the WHO definition of health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Social Justice: We recognize that patterns of health and illness are shaped by social structures and systems; to improve and protect our health, youth health, and community health we must change systems.
Innovation: In order to make change, we need to change the way we do business. We use research methods to answer new questions and innovate new solutions.
Equity Focused: With limited resources we strategically focus on identifying populations and communities with the greatest opportunity to add value.
Scrappiness: We believe in our work, are passionate about quality and outcomes, and are responsible stewards of resources that have been entrusted to us.
Humor: Humor is essential to wellness, communication, and team chemistry.
Cultural Humility: We choose to be humble, curious, and always learning.