FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2021
Michael K. Frisby
Statement by Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity
A TRUTH, RACIAL HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION COMMISSION CAN BRING UNITY, EQUITY AND RACIAL HEALING TO OUR NATION
“NCHE applauds Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Cory Booker for reintroducing a resolution in the House and Senate calling for the nation’s first national Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Commission. After four years of divisive rhetoric and increased violence fueled by racial hatred, it is critical that America has a mechanism to bring communities together to heal wounds of the past and find pathways for a more just future in Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The Jan. 6 insurrection and assault on the Capitol was an attack on the votes and civil liberties of millions of voters of color, and subsequently on the integrity of our democracy. The attack underscored the need for racial healing and a transformation in our people, our leaders, our communities and our institutions.
“This is a big ask. And to be accomplished, we need the power, resources and coordination that could be provided by the federal government partnering with communities to lead the healing process. This is a moment of racial reckoning. The Covid-19 pandemic’s economic, mortality and morbidity inequities are contributing to this unprecedented moment. Clearly, enough of the nation wants to transform systems to address equity and fairness across the land. Racial healing is now an imperative for protecting our national security – united communities can be important assets to help prevent future violence. Unifying and healing America can be accomplished through TRHT – the coordinated multi-sector, intergovernmental effort embedded in and led by local communities.
“The Biden administration promised to build back better and what’s better for America today is addressing the legacy of racism – the past and present. As a nation, it is critically important that we acknowledge the inequities of the past, their persistence today, and then act earnestly to heal the wounds and move forward together. NCHE believes that a TRHT Commission can help jettison the hierarchy of human value and launch a new era where all human beings are valued and have a capacity to see ourselves in one another.
“That’s the America that so many of us want.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Policy Recommendations
As the federal-state program providing access to essential health care to over 77 million low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities, Medicaid has a unique opportunity to address the social risk factors that disproportionately impact these vulnerable populations. Caused by the socioeconomic conditions in which we live, learn, work, and play, these socioeconomic barriers or “social determinants of health” include inadequate access to nutritious food, lack of affordable housing, lack of convenient and efficient transportation options, limited opportunities for quality education and meaningful employment, limited broadband access, and more (Read the full report here).
Drawing on interviews with grassroots leaders from across the country, this report explores how the political landscape, funding, staff skills, leadership, and partnerships influence the ability of community-based organizations to work effectively with public health agencies to address health inequities and racial injustices.
What we heard from the grassroots leaders we spoke to was a tremendous openness to strengthening their own organizations and the public health institutions they partnered with to learn, grow, and become ever more effective in their efforts to achieve more equitable health outcomes. We also uncovered challenges grassroots organizations and health agencies face. Here, we articulate the structural factors, the organizational practices, and ways of navigating partnerships and community engagement that have facilitated grassroots organizations and health agencies working together to advance health equity.
This paper was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
In January/February 2015, the National Voices Project (NVP) conducted the Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) survey, in partnership with the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE). The survey was administered by GfK, an international survey research organization that maintains KnowledgePanel, a nationally representative, web-enabled panel of adults 18 years or older across the United States.
Some key findings in the report includes:
- The majority of adults who work and volunteer with children (59%) believe the term “boys and young men of color” refers only to African Americans.
- African American, Hispanic, and White adults hared the same predominant perception: almost two-thirds believe that “boys and young men of color” refers only to African Americans.
In January/February 2015, the National Voices Project (NVP) conducted the Girls and Young Women of Color survey, in partnership with the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE). The survey was administered by GfK, an international survey research organization that maintains KnowledgePanel, a nationally representative, web-enabled panel of adults 18 years or older across the United States.
Some key findings in the report includes:
- Overall, respondents perceived a greater proportion of negative bias in the media for African American, Arab/Arab American and Latino girls/young women than for American Indian/Alaskan Native, White, Asian/Asian American and Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander girls/young women.
- Positive bias in the media for girls and young women was perceived infrequently for all racial/ethnic groups, though most for White girls and young women.
- Respondents of color indicated the media portrays girls of color in negative ways (as criminals, poor and violent) more often than White girls compared to White respondents.
In 2009, the PLACE MATTERS teams embarked upon a process called “blueprinting” that bought together subject matter experts, communities, and other stakeholders in a problem solving process for documenting lessons, process, methods, and strategies in ways that are useful for PLACE MATTERS Team’s work in communities. The Community Strategies to End Racism report highlights key strategies and tactics, through this report, which can be tailored to address health inequities in other communities and jurisdictions.
Place Matters: Advancing Health Equity documents some of the Place Matters Team’s early successes and efforts to transform how communities understand and tackle persistent racial and ethnic health inequities.
This study, carried out by leading researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, provides important insight into how much of a fi nancial burden racial disparities are putting on our health care system and society at large. The researchers examined the direct costs associated with the provision of care to a sicker and more disadvantaged population, as well as the indirect costs of health inequities such as lost productivity, lost wages, absenteeism, family leave, and premature death.
This report tracks the stubborn persistence of concentrated poverty—poverty rates over 30 percent—in U.S. metropolitan areas over a period of nearly 40 years. Neighborhoods with povertyrates above 30 percent have been recognized as places with few opportunities for employment and education, high levels of disinvestment and crime, and meager civic participation. Living in such neighborhoods over extended periods reduces the life chances of children, whether their families are poor or not.
A series of reports commissioned in 2006 to the identify the social determinants confronting young men of color, and present public policy recommendations to address those obstacles, paving the way for a positive environmental change for this demographic group.