Common Ground Stories: Amir Saleem

a collage of images of men participating in the program

Our Common Ground day of community conversation returns for its third year on June 30, 2019! In this blog series, we’re featuring the stories of people who have participated in Common Ground conversations in years past. In this guest blog, Amir Saleem talks about the project he helped to launch after attending a 2018 Common Ground conversation. 

Photo of Amir SaleemName: Amir Saleem

Profession/Title: Community Leader/Fatherhood Practitioner

City you live in: Euclid      

City in which you are leading project: Cleveland

Common Ground 2018 conversation attended: Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc.

What motivated you to start a project after participating in a Common Ground 2018 conversation?

I co-facilitated last year’s Common Ground event with Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. (NEON), so I knew I wanted to be more involved from the outset of Common Ground 2019. 

Tell us a little bit about your project:

Last year, the theme of our conversation was “What Is Your Second Most Important Home? Your Medical Home,” which assisted us in bringing additional light and hopefully a renewed focus on the importance of one’s health and wellness. The Male Health and Wellness Initiative, the project that was inspired by NEON’s 2018 Common Ground conversation, is a series of ongoing social events that aim to engage Black men around the topic of healthcare. The goal is to have participating men work closely with their physicians to improve their health and ultimately enhance their quality of life. 

What did you hope to accomplish by starting your project?

We wanted individuals and communities to take their respective health and wellness “reins,” if you will, to work with their physicians to increase their quality of life. We then added a specific focus on male health and wellness by engaging men during football season (speaking with them during commercials and halftime) to drive home the importance of scheduled and regular trips to their physician.

What steps did you take to start and implement your project?

We first sought out a partner who we thought shared our vision. Then, we worked intensely – on a short timeline – to have a successful Common Ground conversation that we were able to leverage into our Male Health & Wellness Initiative.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your project?

Yes: the work is not complete. We are consulting other leaders in a number of neighborhoods on how we can expand what was done and add depth and sustainable context.

Continue the Conversation: Join Amir at his Common Ground 2019 event! 

Understanding, Engaging and Loving Dad

2-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, 2019 

“This event was created to examine fatherhood of the past, fatherhood in the present and fatherhood in the future. With our children, homes and communities impacted by either the presence of the father or the absence of the father, we will attempt to revisit the past for the sake of understanding, healing, reclaiming and securing our families’ futures.”