Advocating for individuals and communities

Caitlin G. Allen, Brook Bender, Heather Carter, Jill Guernsey de Zapien, Maria Lourdes Fernandez, Wandy D. Hernández-Gordon, Gail R. Hirsch, Ilda Hernández, Maia Ingram, Sahida Martínez, Floribella Redondo-Martinez, E. Lee Rosenthal, Samantha Sabo, Yanitza Soto, Julie Ann St John, Kathryn Tucker, Maria M. Velazco, Lorena Verdugo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The role of advocating for individuals and communities not only includes advocating for the basic needs and resources of communities and entails conducting policy advocacy. This chapter provides two accounts of how CHWs provide advocacy and advocate for their profession. CHWs in Arizona advocated for their communities and their workforce on the state, local, and federal level to address the social determinants of health and structural issues such as poverty, unemployment, the built environment, and discrimination. The first team explores stories of CHWs who have advocated on multiple levels, including organizational and policy levels, and discusses the factors that support and hinder CHW advocacy efforts. The team describes how local and grassroots advocacy efforts ultimately helped to create a CHW workforce sustainability movement and support the statewide CHW professional association, Arizona Community Health Workers Association (AzCHOW), in advocating for voluntary certification on the state level. The second team provides timely information on how CHWs with Enlace Chicago advocated for their communities during COVID-19 to address social determinants of health, including poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and exploitation of worker rights, and provide basic needs. The CHW stories describe how advocacy efforts were instrumental in directing community members to food banks, personal protection equipment, sources of employment and workers' rights, and emergency rental assistance programs. These stories underscore how CHWs were often the only links connecting their community members to what they needed while facilitating the community's understanding to public health guidelines during COVID-19 and addressing mental health needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPromoting the Health of the Community
Subtitle of host publicationCommunity Health Workers Describing Their Roles, Competencies, and Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9783030563752
ISBN (Print)9783030563745
StatePublished - Mar 22 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • CHW core competency training
  • COVID-19
  • Coalition-building
  • Health equity
  • Latino
  • Legislation
  • Little Village (La Villita)
  • Policy and systems change
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Workforce strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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