Individual Activity: Identifying a Community and a Community Mentor
In this individual exercise, you will identify a local community of your choice and establish a relationship with one of its mentors.
Begin by reading the article from MacQueen et al. (2001) titled “What Is Community? An Evidence-Based Definition for Participatory Public Health.” This article defines community as: “a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives, and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings.” Utilizing what you know about communities, identify a community you would like to work with. This may be a community you know well (such as the neighborhood or village you grew up in) or one that you do not know that well but is close by to where you currently live. It might also be a clinic or school.
Once you choose a community, you must identify a community mentor within that community whom you will be in contact with throughout the entire course. The community mentor should be someone who works in the field of health services, but she/he does not necessarily have to have prior experience with COPC. Throughout this course, as you become more knowledgeable about COPC, your community mentor will serve as your main liaison to this community, helping you to understand its needs and concerns.
After you identify a community mentor, have them register with NextGenU and supply them with a copy of the "COPC community mentor guide."