A longtime community partner with the Center for a Livable Future, Joyce now works with the Center as a staff member. Her role is to provide a community perspective in implementing programs, and helping to ensure that interventions directly benefit neighborhood residents.
"I want to make sure that when we implement a program, it's a win-win for the community," she says. "Often in challenged neighborhoods, residents see people coming in and researching them but they don't have a voice. I am the lynchpin between the Center and effective practices in the community that highlight the human element."
Joyce also serves as the president of the Operation ReachOut Southwest community association, a group that educates the Southwest Baltimore community about diet and exercise and works to reduce health disparities impacting low-income neighborhoods. Joyce became a community leader because she wanted to improve the neighborhood for her family and friends.
Now, she says her mission is even larger: to address the systematic barriers that are negatively impacting health and well-being by getting involved in policy making. Joyce realized it was no coincidence that such neighborhoods, plagued by diabetes, obesity and other conditions influenced by poor diets, have few opportunities for fresh food or safe places to exercise. However, through her work with the Center, Joyce is encouraged by opportunities to not only educate people on diet and exercise, but to put measures in place that make it easier for people to afford fresh produce or find nonfat milk in their neighborhood.
Community Relations Coordinator
"As a community advocate in Southwest Baltimore, I have learned that there are many contributing factors that impact disadvantaged communities and residents. However, individuals and communities with the desire to improve people's quality of life can make a big difference. It's through out of the box thinking that we've made progress, and the Center for a Livable Future has been highly supportive of such efforts."