Message from Executive Manager

Spotlight on Connectedness: Global <->Local

New beginnings are filled with promise and high expectations and it’s a thrill to be writing to you in the first edition of the new Health Equity Connector. As you will read throughout this publication, the work of the Alliance for a Healthier Worldis fundamentally about striving together for a healthier and more equitable world: a lofty and ambitious goal.

From the name we've selected for this publication you will appreciate our emphasis on connectedness as a key predictor of success and the mandate we understand for ourselves to serve as a connector. The pathways that lead to reducing global health inequities are built of human connection, empathy and partnership and so these are tools that we seek to foster, nurture and amplify. The big goals of our initiative will only be achieved, can only be achieved, if we slow down enough to listen to one another with open minds and hearts, advocate on behalf of one another, and put community above self. The maxim above is one that inspires me and rings true but is also one I will need to remind myself of often. And, I'll ask if you could please remind me of it too when we meet.

One theme of our work I would like to highlight in this inaugural issue—one that is deeply rooted in connection and that we will champion—is the reality that what happens in Baltimore, USA is felt in Puno, Peru; in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; in Kisumu, Kenya. And the reverse is true as well. We do not live in isolation. The well-being of individuals and communities, breakthroughs in technology and personal hardships in Puno, Addis and Kisumu, do reverberate in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Stockholm and Mexico City. This reality is often described within the rubric of Global to Local / Local to Global learning and we would like the Alliance to be at the fore of this science and learning. 

All around the Johns Hopkins University campus we are participating in conversations on the topic of Global to Local: Local to Global and thinking through how best to facilitate bi-directional learning opportunities that are rooted in authenticity and reciprocity. We see this burgeoning area of partnership as an enormous opportunity for JHU and for the discipline of global health equity and are eager to commit our passion and commitment to help connect the dots.   We’ll be sharing more on this topic in future issues of the Health Equity Connector.

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Ben Link is the Executive Manager at the Alliance for a Healthier World (AHW). He brings over 15 years of experience working in both the non-profit and private sectors on initiatives related to global health and development in diverse settings across southern and eastern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Navajo Nation.