Minority communities have borne a disproportionate burden of adverse health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding, there is a lack of empirical evidence regarding efforts to reduce health inequalities through community organizing. It is also unclear under what conditions professionals act as external assistance providers for community organizing as part of their role. Through multimethod research conducted among social workers who provide services to ultra-Orthodox minority communities in Israel during the pandemic, this study identified that the combination of critical awareness of social justice, weakened social cohesion, and work environment expectations led professionals to assist communities in their community organizing efforts. These strategies include an intercommunity component—building trust in the community and promoting collective efficacy; an interactional component—creating multidimensional platforms that support action; and a behavioral component—increasing the involvement of communities in decision-making spaces in public arenas. The crucial characteristic of providing assistance and support in community organizing lies in the adoption of cultural perspectives. It requires knowledge about and familiarity with the different types of communities within which the professionals operate. This vital understanding can promote critical awareness among a wide range of professionals to promote health equity at the present time when the pandemic is still ongoing.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. American Journal of Community Psychology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Community Research and Action.
- community empowerment
- community organizing
- health disparities
- minority communities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health