Alaskans Changing Together is a BOLD call to action for all communities throughout Alaska to form Wellness Coalitions in their community. ACT will be launched at Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) by John Baker with Governor Walker. Interested individuals, to be known as Wellness Ambassadors, will be encouraged to take action in their own lives and in their communities. Communities can be defined in any way a Wellness Ambassador chooses - as a village, workplace, school, neighborhood or other collaborative group.
Part Two revolves around getting the word out. It also includes the formation of a State Council, five regional Think Tanks, local level Wellness Ambassadors, local level Wellness Coalitions, and Youth Councils. We are asking that people simply say YES they want to ACT, and they will be directed to either a hard copy form, or website, which will collect contact information. Based on the initial information, Ambassadors will receive a basic one-page outline of the next steps. The fundamental nature of the initiative is such that each individual can be empowered to make changes in their own life, the lives of those around them, and in their community. Furthermore, in working together Alaskans can co-create this Initiative and the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.
In this spirit, during part two, an X-Prize event will be offered to encourage collaboration and competition among local level Wellness Coalitions in order to foster innovation. The prize will be funding (amount still to be determined), and other donations, which will go towards the winning teams. Through the year, Wellness Ambassadors will be encouraged to participate in a regional organized Think Tank. Think Tanks are community-founded and comprised of committed local individuals and groups that get together to share ideas, meet like-minded people, and collaborate to make a practical difference in the world.
Part three involves staff and the created State and Regional councils providing technical support, tools, templates, and encouragement to the Wellness Ambassadors. The Wellness Coalitions and Youth Councils will focus on the completion of activities such as creating community protocols, creating Wellness Action Plans, and doing regular ongoing outreach activities as appropriate to them. The focus is on activities which do not require funding, but does require both personal dedication on behalf of Wellness Ambassadors as well as community support.
Part four will begin upon successful completion of certain activities, and will qualify Wellness Coalitions to apply for competitive funding which will provide support for budget items such as a Wellness Coordinator, supplies, travel, and other items which we anticipate will be dreamed of and suggested by our Wellness Coalitions. This could ultimately lead to physical Wellness Centers which can serve as a command center for the community and could include Sobering Centers, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and/or a Teen Center.
Regional Think Tanks will be encouraged to meet quarterly and to host an annual gathering of all the Wellness Ambassadors in their region in order to ensure a very strong sense of connectedness, belonging, and support in an environment where people can share, heal, and learn from each other. An additional annual state-wide gathering will held for the same reasons.
The Wellness Initiative will serve as a bridge between existing State Prevention Programs and the communities to help ensure that everyone has access to the materials needed. It will also serve as a bridge from where people are at now in their life and in their communities to help individuals make changes and move forward with their lives and in their communities and where they dare to go.