Vaishnavi Hariprasad

Vaishnavi Hariprasad
Location: Denver, Colorado Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Built Environment/Housing/Planning, Health Reform, Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), African-American/Black, Asian/Asian American, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Homeless Populations, Immigrants and Refugees, Incarcerated or Formerly Incarcerated Populations, LGBTQ+ Communities, Low-Income Communities, Older Adults (65+), People with Disabilities, Rural Communities
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger

Vaishnavi’s vision for a Culture of Health is to eliminate barriers and break down structural racism so that everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of where they come from. Currently in the United States, where we live—and which neighborhood we grew up in—is directly tied to the opportunities we have. In the same city, one neighborhood lifts children and families out of poverty, while the next traps them in poverty for generations. Vaishnavi’s work focuses on examining the root causes of inequity and eliminating barriers to create equitable, healthy, and thriving communities.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger Collaborative for Cross-sector Policy Solutions
Food insecurity and its risk factors, such as housing insecurity and homelessness, job insecurity, racial- and identity-based discrimination, are a public safety and public health issue. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx families in Colorado and nationwide face disproportionate rates of unemployment and food insecurity. The CHAT process aims to shift narratives and redefine food insecurity as a public health and public safety issue that requires cross-sector policy solutions. My initiative focuses on community, organization, and sector. My goal is to shift top-down narratives and redefine public safety through the experiences of community to transform organizational, local, state and federal policies and practices in public safety, food systems, and public health. DASHR  is currently committed to co-leading this effort along with the Blueprint. We will engage other community organizations in the state and are in the process of finalizing commitments to host our first committee meeting in July.

As an immigrant to the United States, Vaishnavi understood from a very young age the impact of structural racism on health and well-being. Because of her lived experience, Vaishnavi is passionate about ensuring community voice and power are central to decision-making in our systems and institutions.

Click here to watch Vaishnavi’s Legacy Project video.