On Tuesday, December 12, IECF convened a gathering of local leaders united by a common purpose: to build a future where everyone thrives. Monte Roulier, President of Community Initiatives Network, facilitated the discussions as groups delved into the crucial concept of Vital Conditions for Health and Well-being, the very foundations upon which a thriving community is built.

The day was filled with insightful and impassioned conversations about the essential conditions that allow individuals and communities to reach their full potential. These “Vital Conditions,” as identified by the framework developed by ReThink Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, encompass the basic necessities like humane housing and access to meaningful work, as well as more nuanced elements like a strong sense of belonging and civic participation.

Investing in these Vital Conditions is not just a moral imperative, it’s a strategic one. As the framework emphasizes, these conditions are not stand-alone entities, but rather an interconnected web that shapes our collective well-being. Investing in one condition, like affordable housing, can have positive ripple effects across others, improving health outcomes, fostering economic security, and strengthening social bonds.

The meeting resonated with a shared desire to move beyond siloed efforts and work collectively towards bigger investments and systemic changes around the Vital Conditions.

And this is where the Inland Empire’s leadership shines. By adopting the Vital Conditions Framework as a common language and network, a community of nonprofits and changemakers is creating a platform for alignment and collaboration. This will be instrumental in channeling the collective energy of diverse stakeholders towards a unified vision of a thriving IE.

Michelle Decker, IECF President and CEO, said, “Thank you so much for joining and bringing your passions and lived experiences to the discussion. There is a great hunger in the IE to work together even more for bigger investments and changes around these conditions. We took a huge step forward in adopting the Vital Conditions Framework to network and align our different efforts, and I’m so encouraged.”

But the work doesn’t stop here. Decker continues, “What’s next? Let’s make this real! Working with our partners, we envision creating a work plan and putting the pieces in place to keep the work moving forward.”

Michelle Decker’s call to “make this real” is a powerful reminder that action must follow intention. The next step is to translate this shared vision into a concrete work plan, with actionable steps and identified partners. This will require ongoing commitment, strategic resource allocation, and unwavering dedication to seeing the plan through.

The IE has the potential to be a prime example of what an equitable and thriving community can look like. By championing the Vital Conditions Framework and working together, the leaders who gathered have taken a giant leap towards making this dream a reality. The collective spirit and shared purpose witnessed at this first convening offer a powerful glimpse into a brighter future for the IE, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

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