2022 COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
The Collaborative for Health Equity Cook County (CHE Cook County) works to change the maldistribution of money, power and resources that produces health inequities and gross injustice. We believe we can make that change by raising awareness, advancing policy, and building power among oppressed populations. To achieve health equity, we focus on the root causes of health inequities that are at the structural level of society.
CHE Cook County has several priorities, which express our mission and values (see our home page):
- Build membership of the Collaborative through increased opportunities for new participants to work together on concrete and meaningful tasks;
- Increase the capacity of organizations advocating for equity in housing, immigration, workplace, education, nutrition, the environment, and the “pillars of health” (Nicholas Freudenberg 2021 “At What Cost?”) to use health data critically in support of their policy goals.
- Increase the strength of existing relationships and create new ones with racial and health justice organizations, academics, and governmental public health staff in order to reduce health inequities.
- Engage in dialogue with organizers and activists about how power affects the creation and use of data, the science of epidemiology, and policy change.
- Better understand and use communication strategies of framing and messaging to promote social justice.
Collaborative for Health Equity Cook County used data to support residents’ demand that the City of Chicago deny General Iron/RMG a permit to operate a polluting facility in their Chicago neighborhood. We used data (qualitative and quantitative) in public letters & petitions, tweets, and press conferences. We use data from CDPH to show the operation of the polluter will worsen inequities between Southeast Black and Latinx and working people and high income white people in Lincoln Park.
Participating in Leveraging Hope help us make progress on the work we are doing:
- From increased dialogue and communication, CHE would have a better understanding of how organizations in the LH coalition can win their policy agenda using HOPE data.
- Members of the CHE coalition will have an increased understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of health data in general, and be familiar with the ‘basics’ of population health indicators
- Relationships will be strengthened between members of the LH Coalition through structured and unstructured one-on-one meetings and conversations
- Participation will provide support for practical application—in analysis, framing, or communication, for example-- of critical perspectives of public health and epidemiology (Breilh, 2021; Gonsalves, 2020; Krieger, 2021; Petteway, 2020; Thrasher, 2022)A critique of “conventional public health” is that epidemiology is dominated by a biomedical, reductionist viewpoint that results in an inability to transform society producing systems that support life.
- We would be better positioned to contribute to the local governmental public health planning and assessment projects required by all state-certified public health departments.
- We could make recommendations to local governmental agencies, including public health departments.
- CHE Cook County could begin to describe historical milestones in Chicago and the region that provide context to otherwise ahistorical use of population health outcome indicators, risk-factors, measures of living conditions, etc. Examples are the dashboards used for Covid-19 and population health data, including Chicago Health Atlas, and others.
- Through discussion and conversation among its members, the we would examine the role of power (and the most useful meaning(s) of power ) including in creation of policy, defining policy options, framing the terms of debate, creating and interpreting population health data, creating hierarchies of dominated and dominating (White supremacist, corporate class elite, patriarchal, …) populations.
- Begin to outline a strategic path in Chicago and its suburbs for successful power building for health equity among LH members and other anti-racist, pro-social justice organizations.
Breilh, J. (2021). Critical Epidemiology and the People’s Health. Oxford University Press.
Gonsalves, G. (2020, October 22). We’re Never Going Back to Normal. https://www.thenation.com/article/society/covid-surge-winter-biden/
Krieger, N. (2021). Ecosocial theory, embodied truths, and the people’s health. Oxford University Press.
Petteway, R. J. (2020). LATENT//Missing: On Missing Values, Narrative Power, and Data Politics in Discourse of COVID-19. Health Education & Behavior, 47(5), 671–676. https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198120950194
Thrasher, S. W. (2022, February 10). There Is Nothing Normal about One Million People Dead from COVID. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/there-is-nothing-normal-about-one-million-people-dead-from-covid1/
Our work (HOPE's and LREP's) intersect in our commitment to promote health and increase racial equity disproportionately affected by COVID 19 communities.
As the HOPE data clearly shows, structural racism embedded in our society's systems creates severe health inequities impacting tens of millions of BIPOC in this country. Latinx Racial Equity Project is tackling this core public health issue by training and developing a robust network of Latinx leaders to drive policy and systems changes that end health and racial disparities. Over the last 18 months, we have trained over 500 leaders from the nonprofit and government sectors - during a pandemic! These changemakers are now actively using our framework of decolonization and racial healing to counter anti-Blackness and Native erasure, challenge racism within and across their communities, and strengthen multiracial collaboration for transformational change.
Our trainings and programs build skills that are holistic and culturally rooted in an understanding of race/racism, gender/sexism and other forms of oppression. LREP-trained leaders build authentic partnerships across differences, challenge structural -isms, and advocate for a health equity agenda. Our staff is composed of a diverse team with more than 30 years of collective experience leading racial equity change processes throughout the country. The co-founder and program leaders bring more than two decades of experience on issues of race across the US, having led several nationally-recognized Latino and immigrant rights organizations. The Latinx Racial Equity Project aims to increase the number of health equity driven Latino leaders, in the non-profit and government sectors, throughout California. Leaders trained through this project will be able to manage and nurture the increasing diversity in our state as a whole and also within the Latinx community. Participants will deepen leadership, health equity and collaboration skills rooted in the Latinx reality and cultural strengths. This will allow them to build authentic partnerships across differences, challenge structural isms and advocate for an health equity agenda.
This project will also help create a pipeline of health equity driven Latinx leaders who can help shift who is included in policy and program priorities for the Latinx community.
This project will provide trainings and organize learning circles to build skills that are holistic and culturally rooted in understandings of race, racism, gender, sexism and other forms of oppression.
The mission of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation (CNTR) is to partner with institutions to promote love, the establishment of justice, and build the Beloved Community. The Center is committed to transforming and healing the root causes of physical, political, psychological, environmental, economic and racial violence at personal, family, community and systemic levels.
The Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation envisions the Beloved Community as a world where there is a spirit of cooperation, where people’s similarities and differences are celebrated, and where policies in government and community institutions, as well as the culture they create, support fairness, equity, harmony, compassion and love in our interactions, as well as the sharing and preservation of resources for generations to come.
The Selma CNTR works in nine sectors, partnering in institutional contexts to address the root causes of physical, mental, emotional, economic, political and racial violence—including racial profiling—with the two-pronged goal of implementing long-range solutions to systemic violence and building the Beloved Community.
The Louisiana Center for Health Equity (LCHE) was created and established with the sole purpose of addressing health and healthcare disparities in Louisiana through the lens of health equity. One current example of our health equity work is our Campaign to Establish Louisiana Office on Women’s Health. Louisiana is 49th in women’s health outcomes. Those that are most impacted are black women in the state. The Office will work to improve the health outcomes of women all over the state. Our COVID-19 recovery priorities were addressed in the recent 2022 Health Summit. Among other topics, there was a focus on the role trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have on the education, suspension, and expulsion of children, especially black boys and men, in Louisiana schools prior to and after the pandemic. LCHE also is working to address the issue of poverty by promoting economic security, mobility, and sustainability of Louisianans in the wake of the pandemic. The role of data is also a major focus as we are developing an online data and action platform for our LA40by2030 initiative.
Equity Matters is a network of innovators. Our work helps clients and communities evolve and change in a transformative way. We are a network of equity practitioners and we believe in communities of practice that support the culture of equitable development. We look at things through a social determinants lens addressing not just health, but well-being. We promote equity in all policy. Equity Matters offers a variety of supports and organizational strategies for getting voices heard and improving their impact in a group or community. Our team is comprised of experts from a variety of backgrounds who have the training and experience to develop and implement real change. We work in a racial equity framework that we call “counter-racism,” which stands on the shoulders of tradionally anti-racist practices, but adds complexity science practices as well.
One Love Global (OLG) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to transform communities so Black children experience justice, peace, healing, opportunity, and abundance. OLG invests in youth organizing and community leadership development to build the individual and collective power needed to transform policies and practices. OLG is the place lead for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) of Metro Lansing and has hosted teams for all five pillars with our deepest work being cross-cutting to center youth and education across the pillars. Our work over the past four and half years has centered on the needs and priorities of communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic while supporting non-BIPOC community members to be effective allies. We have worked with youth and adult allies to transition our programming to be engaging and interactive in a virtual space which has expanded our reach throughout Michigan. We also launched the Center for TRHT as a physical space in Lansing to serve the state of Michigan in our centrally located 4600 square foot space. The space is ideal for socially distanced gatherings.
The pandemic coincided with our TRHT theory of action to bring directly impacted people together with allies to co-create a collective community vision of what racially equitable policy and practice looks like after an intentional period of orientation, onboarding and relationship-building within each sector. One Love Global and TRHT partners launched the Lansing People’s Assembly in May of 2020 as a dedicated space for innovation, community co-governance and transformation across TRHT pillars. Significant outcomes of our TRHT pillar work include: 1) partnership with the Ingham County Prosecutor which has led to substantive changes in prosecutor policies and the formation of a Michigan People’s Assembly, 2) resolutions declaring racism a public health emergency were passed by the City of Lansing, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners and the Governor of the State of Michigan as a direct result of collaboration with public health professionals to host a series of webinars and press conferences on the impact of the pandemic (coinciding with a global uprising in support of racial equity) on Black communities, 3) ongoing community healing circles including teacher circles have been increasingly in demand given the stress of the pandemic, 4) Peace & Prosperity Youth Action Movement members (ages 12-25) prioritizing healing and mutual aid as pandemic interventions and desiring to learn how to keep circles with their peers, and 5) creation of a social entrepreneurship pathway for Lansing youth in partnership with Lansing Area Economic Partnership.
The HOPE opportunity database is a vital tool that can help our communities answer a question we have been asking since there was such resounding affirmation that racism is indeed a public health emergency laid bare by the disproportionate impact of the pandemic in Black and Indigenous communities. One Love Global has contributed to our County Health Improvement Plan with a focus on violence prevention through economic opportunity and would be a champion for all of the HOPE indicators in the upcoming plan update. Another way we would leverage the HOPE opportunity, asset and goal-oriented framework is organizing our community around key shared indicators for healthy youth development through age 25. One Love Global launched a racial equity scorecard in 2021 as one of our TRHT goals with the purpose of providing data-driven tools for action. Incorporating HOPE database indicators on the social determinants of health will strengthen our capacity to advocate for the policy and practice transformation needed to meet communities’ need for racial equity and healing with meaningful and measurable action. The recent launch of our Transform Michigan podcast on Michigan Business Network will provide a platform for promoting the HOPE indicators and organizations across Michigan who are doing promising work to transform policy and practice.
In addition to our core programming focused on youth organizing and leadership development, One Love Global provides backbone support for Black liberation movement organizations. Our backbone support work has inspired us to build an infrastructure for civic engagement, digital organizing and grassroots advocacy that can put HOPE data in the hands of our people in urban, suburban and rural communities as we continue building upon a base of over 40,000 supporters in Michigan. Our experience in grassroots organizing for policy and practice transformation is an asset we would be honored to share with the HOPE peer-learning community.
I believe that your framework around health outcomes, and how those systems influence the health of local communities, align perfectly with NYC’s commitment to improve educational, health and economical opportunities for children and families in Mississippi by advancing racial equity and healing, leadership development and authentic community engagement that leads to positive and sustainable social change that improves the lives of vulnerable children and families.
The NYC Philosophy is based on the belief that youth and communities of color have the capacity to identify and address their own challenges and generate appropriate solutions when given the tools and safe space to do so. NYC’s Youth and Community Engagement Model utilizes a holistic approach to confront issues of difference with honest dialogue designed to engage Mississippi communities in cultural and economic diversities with the opportunities to learn the art of social justice, gain skills that lead to positive and sustainable change, as well as connecting with local and State agencies who share their vision for equity, fairness, and positive social change.
The NYC Youth and Community Engagement Model is uniquely different from other models. The NYC Model seeks to change individual mindsets and systems at a large scale in order to address root causes of problems with a long-term policy change perspective as opposed to a surface level change which only addresses symptoms. Because of the unique structure of the NYC Youth and Community Engagement Model, our direct impact is not limited by the linear relationship between invested resources and achieved impact. Our Model breaks away from the linear relationship and instead employs strategies based on scaling indirect impact which allows much further reach with limited amounts of resources by focusing on changing existing dynamics. Our Model actively influences our stakeholders to change their mindset of working alone and start collaborating openly as a coalition of many. Our model emphasizes a different style of leadership that ensures that vision and ownership are shared, transactional, continuously learning and adaptive. The model further emphasizes the importance of the interconnection in roles, relationships, norms, and needs to lower the risks of unintended consequences and increase the chances of finding powerful leverage points for intervention.
The Neshoba Youth Coalition was founded in October of 2010. The Youth Coalition was formed in response to the local school district’s high teen pregnancy rate in 2009. In 2009, Neshoba County had the 9th highest teen pregnancy rate in Mississippi, a State with the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Nation. The idea was to develop a program that would target the most at-risk youth in the district and empower those students with the knowledge and skills to make intelligent and informed decisions through a focus on local history, education, teen pregnancy, school dropouts and race relations.
Thirteen years later, the teen pregnancy rate for the at-risk group is the lowest in the County and the County has seen a 40% drop in overall teen pregnancy. Since 2009, more than 700 at-risk youth have participated in the NYC Leadership Program. None of those students have been lost to violent crime or have committed a violent crime. Before the on-set of Covid-19, NYC students, in partnership with the USDA Summer Feeding Program, were providing more than 14,000 meals per summer to at-risk youth in the community. NYC student leaders have mentored more than 2000 at-risk kindergarten to sixth grade youth in math, reading, reading comprehension and vocabulary skill building during the summer months.
The Neshoba Youth Coalition has partnered extensively with local organizations, businesses and governmental leaders to promote the health and safety of our community. In December of 2021, we partnered with the four local African American churches, Neshoba General Hospital and the Montgomery Institute to provide a Covid-19 Information and Lunch. The events were designed for individuals to come during their lunch hour and receive a meal, information about Covid-19, or get their Covid-19 vaccination or booster shot. The turnout was high, with more than 100 people attending the hour-long events. We also partner with our local community action agency to pick up and distribute food boxes to the elderly monthly. We work closely with our local elected officials to help keep families abreast of programs, decisions and opportunities that directly or indirectly affect the community. The city, county, school board and economic development leaders seek input from the NYC organization and its stakeholders before major decisions are made.
The level of impact that NYC seeks reaches beyond the familiar metrics of “youth or communities served” or “improved baseline scores'', but seeks to effectively engaging youth and communities to reframe the way the world works, and to identify the key role that youth and communities have in making this reframing a reality. In order for NYC to fully achieve the impact that we desire, we need access to a larger database of information, partnerships, and resources to better leverage local successes into State, National and International successes. I believe that using the HOPE database, and becoming a member of the Leveraging HOPE community peer group, will support NYC in leveraging its local impact into Statewide impact that will lead to exponentially higher levels of social impact in Mississippi and beyond.
Partnership for the Public Good is a community-based think tank that builds a more just, sustainable, and culturally vibrant Buffalo Niagara through action-oriented research, policy development, and citizen engagement, together with our network of 325 partner organizations. Before and since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have worked to advance health equity programs and policies that protect tenants and improve housing conditions; that use public land, green space, and vacant lots for public benefit—such as food growing, affordable housing, community gardens; that expand language access for New Americans across government and health services; that improve water equity by ending water shut-offs in the City of Buffalo and forgiving water bill debt; that prevent violence and invest in community-led safety; and more. We work toward these policies across three levels of government – the City of Buffalo, Erie County, and New York State, with our priorities informed and selected by an annual democratic process with our partners.
The Center for Achieving Equity will engage all levels of community to ensure systems, structures, policies and practices create and sustain equitable opportunities for all.
The Center for Achieving Equity's (CAE) focus is to ensure health implications and equity considerations are in the forefront as policy makers and others make decisions that substantially impact the residents of Cuyahoga County and the neighborhoods in which County residents live. To that end, the CAE team exists to:
- Help leaders focus on a broader definition of health. We believe that health is not simply the absence of disease. Health begins where we live, work, learn, and play. Health includes the social conditions one lives in (the jobs we do, the money we’re paid, the schools we attend, the neighborhoods we live in). These determinants are as important as our genes, our behaviors, and our medical care.
- Ensure “health and equity in all policies” is embedded in work throughout every sector, by building the capacity of policy-makers, organizational leaders and community members to use an overarching health equity lens when developing policies.
- Support equitable decision-making, planning and practices by facilitating a community of practice, which builds the capacity of leaders and influencers and documents effective strategies and practices of the entire community.
- Utilize “place-based” interventions to engage and empower residents working to revitalize under- resourced communities.
- Expand our community of practice based on shared values, continuous learning, aligned policy and practice; data and action
- Produce new health equity report
- Develop written case study based on activities of existing aligned partners; e.g. similar to Practical Playbook II, Chapter 4
- Leverage collaborations with new advisory committee
Our Vision: For every Connecticut resident to attain optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
Our Mission: To promote policies, programs, and practices that result in equitable health care access, delivery, and outcomes for all people in Connecticut
The events of the past two years raised the visibility of racial inequities and catalyzed change. Now we must build on those early steps to move Connecticut further along the path to health equity.
In 2022 Health Equity Solutions’ 2022 Policy Agenda priorities are:
- Address barriers to health and community participation;
- Advocate for health care access and affordability; and
- Dismantle structural racism.
These priorities were informed by our 2021 Listening Sessions and will shape the organization’s policy work in the year ahead.
HES has advocated for improved race, ethnicity, and language data collection since 2017 and successfully advocated for the release of state-level COVID-19 case and death data disaggregated by race and ethnicity in spring of 2020. In 2021, we also successfully advocated for legislation to create uniform standards for data collected by state agencies and included in the statewide health information exchange. In the meantime, we consistently look for sources of REL data that focus on disproportionality rather than solely on disparities so that we can work with our grassroots partners to identify data related to their health policy priorities and evaluate the success of interventions to address disparities over time. The goals and interstate comparison capabilities of the HOPE tool will be useful in advocacy work to show that progress is possible and can be benchmarked in this way.