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It Takes a Good Zip Code to Raise A Child

News for 09.21.18
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This month, BRIGHT Magazine's Livie Campbell published an article titled "It Takes a Good Zip Code to Raise A Child." In it, she tells the story of Silvia Guzman, BBZ Castlemont's (Oakland, CA) Community Outreach Worker. Guzman grew up in the Castlemont neighborhood and experienced the effects of a disinvested local economy: "there were no grocery stores, markets, or local vendors where residents could buy fresh food," Guzman said.  "In short, Castlemont suffered from all the problems associated with poor zip codes across the United States."

In 2014, Guzman got involved with BBZ by vending goods at the East Oakland Community Market, participating in the playdate program, and supporting programs like BBZ's East Oakland Innovators and Financial Tools and Solutions. As Campbell points out, these programs are the result of the BBZ Approach in action. It gives communities, like Castlemont, the "voice, tools, and resources to make its own changes."

Dr. Cheri Pies, Principal Investigator of the BBZ Initiative , expressed that "[i]t’s not a popular approach. People want to stress individual responsibility for health, but we’re trying to show the importance of building healthier communities.” For Guzman, this is easily the best part of BBZ. “Everything we do means a life changed. It all makes a difference when it’s something the community has asked for.”

To read the full article, click here.