In Focus: Outreach & Communications Resources

Outreach & Communications Resources

CCI is committed to supporting leaders and communities across the nation with navigating the COVID-19 crisis. On your behalf, we’ve carefully curated free digital resources and tools that offer guidance for understanding the complexities of the pandemic, developing strategic response and recovery efforts, and preparing for a world beyond this current moment. Our COVID-19 resources are arranged in three categories to make it easier for you to delve into the material: racial equity & social justice, outreach & communications, and affordable housing & community development. If you have come across other resources that you’ve found to be valuable, please share them with us by sending an email to cci@centerforcommunityinvestment.org.


Good communications practices are important in times of crisis. The lack of effective communication when stress is high can lead to additional confusion, anxiety, or frustration.

COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty in many aspects of our lives, including how we communicate and connect with people. Many outreach and communications vehicles, like in-person workshops or face-to-face meetings, are no longer options. While advances in technology have made things easier, the digital divide in our society has limited our ability to gather input and collaborate.

Like you, we’ve had to pivot our messaging and adapt in a predominately virtual environment. As we’ve begun to craft a comprehensive communications strategy, we’ve seen how being more conscious about our language and messaging adds value and helps broaden access. Here are some of the best resources we’ve found for learning how to communicate through COVID-19, meet the communities you serve where they are, and make sense of what is happening right now.

1. Talking about Health, Housing, and COVID-19: Keeping Equity at the Forefront

The Berkeley Media Studies Group has developed a working document to support public health practitioners, community organizers, policymakers, and others who are striving to elevate equity-focused solutions in housing and health in the face of COVID-19. The guide spells out how to create messaging that promotes safety and stresses the importance of treating housing as an essential component of public health. 

2. Equitable Access to Health Information for Non-English Speakers Amidst the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

Past pandemics have taught us that the inadequate dissemination of health information to people with limited English proficiency magnifies health disparities. There are early warning signs of a similar trend with COVID-19. This piece, featured on the Health Affairs blog, calls for government agencies and health systems around the nation to develop collaborations with social service organizations, media outlets, and other stakeholders to promptly develop and distribute COVID-19 health information and resources in multiple languages. 

3. COVID-19: How to Include Marginalized and Vulnerable People in Risk Communication and Community Engagement 

How can we best support the capacity of vulnerable populations in crises? This guide, published by the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent SocietiesUN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and World Health Organization, offers best practices for tailoring community engagement interventions according to gender, language, and local culture to improve community uptake.

Transforming investment in communities

CCI is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment, and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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