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The People – A Poem By Hannah Hasan

Written by and Hannah Hasan on September 16, 2022

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This poem was written and performed by Hannah Hasan for Build Healthy Places Network’s webinar, “Why Multi-Sector Collaboration Matters: Exploring BHPN’s New Rural Playbook.”

Watch The Performance

The People

When searching for the answers

The solutions

The wisdom

For how we heal what ails us

For how we make well where we are ill

For how we find the cure to what has harmed us

For how we find the medicine that will make us feel


Make us see

Each Other

Make us Care

For Our neighbors

Make us alter

The systems and behaviors

That have left some behind

That have left many without

That have found those living in pockets of poverty, within rural landscapes, remote cities and

boroughs, and small mountain towns

On the edge of opportunity

Seeking hope and help for the future of their home

For the well-being of their community

When we are seeking the ideas and sparks of ingenuity

The answer will definitely come back to what it always has been and what it always will be

The power is with the people

The every day boots on the ground neighbors and workers who exist, live off of, feed off of the



The environment around them


The people who surround them

Who stand up and stand in for them

Day to day

The next door neighbors

Plant and factory laborers

That one doctor in town

The community organizers

The small town mayors

The grocery store workers

Teachers and bus drivers

The waitress working the double shift

The up before the sun 9-5ers

Living in the community

Working, doing the best they can to build their home

These are the people with the remedy, who hold the answers and the cures

These are the folks that our systems and solutions should depend on

For inspiration

For education

For planning

And understanding


What the people need

Exactly how to design for a sustainable and equitable future

The people who live in these spaces

Are at the center of the playbook

For the people closet to the problems are the people who hold on to the solutions

That is what local control really means

It’s when all forces align

And prioritize community engagement

It’s when resources are shared

It is found within meaningful collaboration

It’s working side by side

It is when the organizations

And the people are at the table

That is where we find sustainable and equitable solutions


humane housing, lifelong learning, and reliable transportation

And all of the things that we need to ensure that we are well

That our families and our neighbors are taken care of

Local control is fostering an environment

Where the people are empowered to craft their spaces with love

To decide what the future of their home looks and feels like

Local control is structuring and restructuring

From the inside

It is building by the people

It is healing from within

It is at the center of how we have always cared for each other

It is where the process should begin and end

In centering the peoples voice

That is how we foster healthy communities

That is how we remind our neighbors that they have a choice

Of what happens in their home

Of which programs and processes should be in place

Of which places and spaces belong

This is where we find the future of how we heal together

This is how we continue to build healthy places

And Communities of Care

With creative collaboration

Inspired and inclusive activation

And the people who occupy these spaces

The people who have always been there.

– Hannah Hasan

Watch the recording and learn more about “Why Multi-Sector Collaboration Matters: Exploring BHPN”s New Rural Playbook” here.

About the Author


Hannah Hasan

Spoken Word Poet

Epoch Tribe

Hannah Hasan is an award-winning master storyteller, spoken word poet, author, playwright, and creative facilitator who believes that our stories will set us free. She has built an impressive and impactful career centered around using the arts of the written and spoken word to inspire, inform, educate, and empower audiences in her home state of North Carolina and throughout the United States.

With themes that center home, social justice, racial justice, women’s rights, and more; Hannah is often commissioned to write and perform customized powerful poetry, provide speeches, and facilitate workshops for events, conferences, and meetings.