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Many of the systems in our country have caused harm – whether intended or unintended – to the individuals who interact with them.

In order to create equitable access to wellbeing, we must not only recognize those harms, but also nurture opportunities for healing and regeneration.

Gary Anderson, FFI Senior Fellow and founder of Plowshares Theatre Company, describes how implementing Wellbeing Design Principle 3 can bring about equitable access to wellbeing for communities that have been harmed.

What does this look like in practice?

FRESH New London organizes residents to create community ownership and decision-making power in their access to food. Through community gardens and urban farms, seasonal youth programs, mutual aid pantries and skill sharing events, FRESH New London is building momentum toward a city where everyone has a fair shot at wellbeing.

Through movement building and community centering work, FRESH New London focuses on shifting harmful patterns of the past, fully embodying Wellbeing Design Principle 3. Food access, land control, housing and education are all impacted by racism embedded in our systems to this day. By lifting up Indigenous and other Black and Brown cultural food practices, they break down barriers to culturally relevant access to food and expand awareness of restorative and sustainable values. Learn more about their vision and work.

Resources & Examples

Guiding Questions to Put Principles into Practice

These guiding questions are meant to help you apply the wellbeing design principles to your work to create lasting and equitable change. The questions are also good starting places for conversations with colleagues about how your work aligns, or could align more, with the principle.

Start by asking, do we:

  • Understand the history of an issue and the perspectives of those who bear in that history?
  • Incorporate healing into process and outcomes?
  • Explicitly tie our work to shifting harmful patterns of the past?
  • Use restorative and transformative practices within our communities and with others?
  • Respect Indigenous and informal cultural norms and values?
  • Push against concentrating harms in communities already facing the greatest adversity?
  • Use mindful language?