Phone: (269) 986-0797 Kathy or (269) 251-0065 Maria

Frequently Asked Questions

What does BC Pulse do?

BC Pulse convenes and supports key stakeholders including residents, direct service providers and leaders in collective action-learning processes.  To ensure these activities actually lead to needed changes in local conditions, BC Pulse staff supports participants’ actions through coaching and provides a conduit for the infusion of authentic and expert knowledge into local planning and decision-making. Racial equity and authentic engagement are fully embedded into BC Pulse’s actions.

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Isn’t BC Pulse just like "Yes We Can"?

Much was learned by the Kellogg Foundation’s Yes we can! initiative.  Its focus on neighborhood specific conditions is valid and necessary in order to create systemic change.

Additionally, it placed prominence on resident voice in decision making.  For those reasons, BC Pulse is very much like Yes we can!.  Initiatives are challenging in that they are time limited.  A true test of an initiative’s sustainability is what remains after its formal structure and support are gone, and two of the most important components (neighborhood focus and resident voice) carry on through BC Pulse.  

An important lesson from Yes we can! was the significance of focusing on HOW work gets done (not just WHAT gets done), BC Pulse has learned from this and ensured that the HOW gets an appropriate amount of attention. The absence of a backbone organization in the Yes we can! initiative was another key lesson learned that drives BC Pulse’s infrastructure.

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What role does BC Pulse play in the community?

BC Pulse provides local residents, service providers and leaders an opportunity to collectively problem solve around the issues impacting children and their families, and act so that children and families experience the best possible outcomes.  Additionally, BC Pulse supports existing efforts by providing feedback loops (multiple perspectives) and weaving relevant information into decision-making.

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What role does BC Pulse play in early childhood?

BC Pulse was invited by local early childhood leaders and funders to engage around systems change within early childhood. Beginning with the development of a shared community vision, BC Pulse facilitates collective problem-solving and action as it relates to the lives of children in Battle Creek, pre-natal through third grade.

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If you are working in early childhood, why are you working with groups like the police department and physicians?

Children do not exist as solitary beings.  They are supported by families and the community.  This is reflected in the shared community vision that states: “every child in Battle Creek is thriving because they have equal opportunity to experience supportive early learning, economic security, health, safety, and nurturing care.”  

Given this directive, it is crucial that those who impact those key areas of children’s lives are engaged in our process.  When we bring together every aspect of a child’s life, we begin to see the system intersections and can begin addressing the barriers that are limiting success.

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Isn’t BC Pulse’s role to “only” bring resident voice to the table?

Resident Voice is paramount to a healthy community.  And it is a core principle within BC Pulse, but it is not the only thing BC Pulse is about.  Diverse perspectives are key to any systemic change and must be engaged in a way that moves towards action.  

Just as important to this change are the voices of direct service providers, leaders (at all levels) and key stakeholders.  The ABLe Change Framework that guides BC Pulse’s work provides space for all of these stakeholders.

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Aren’t you simply convening meetings?

Convening meetings (both formal and informal meetings) is just a portion of what BC Pulse does, and it’s important to note that their meetings are not your “typical” meetings – they are focused on learning and action and their agendas are developed around systems change targets that are based on community conditions.  

That said, most of the “meaty” work occurs outside those rooms once actions are identified.  Supporting the community’s defined action around systems change requires attention to how that change gets implemented. BC Pulse spends a considerable amount of time supporting effective implementation.  

As a backbone organization, it is also BC Pulse’s role to engage in the gathering of both expert and public knowledge, theming, analyzing and proposing actions that address root causes.

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Doesn’t BC Pulse work in the Post/Franklin neighborhood?

Once the community defined the shared vision for early childhood, BC Pulse went to work understanding how children experience life in Battle Creek.  What we learned was that the context in which children live is vitally important and differs based on where they live.  With this in mind, BC Pulse engaged an Early Childhood Work Group (local key stakeholders) in a selection process informed by data and historical context, with the Post-Franklin neighborhood unanimously chosen as BC Pulse’s initial focus neighborhood.  

Residents engaged in this initial phase are specific to those caring for young children in the Post-Franklin neighborhood, but direct service providers and leaders work across the community (and for many, across the county) and this focus provides context for their collective problem-solving and action community-wide.

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