Health & Racial Equity

Health Equity

Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. To achieve this, we must remove barriers to health — such as poverty, discrimination, and deep power imbalances. We must also remove their consequences, including lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

The Massachusetts Community Health & Healthy Aging Funds are explicitly focused on addressing the root causes of inequity.

Structural and institutional racism and other forms of oppression need to be disrupted to eliminate inequities in population health outcomes. These forms of oppression need to be understood and disrupted to eliminate health inequities and address the social determinants of health. The Massachusetts Community Health & Healthy Aging Funds use an approach known as “leading with race and racism.” This approach recognizes that people of color in Massachusetts have historically and consistently had less opportunity to lead a healthy life. The Massachusetts Community Health & Healthy Aging Funds also recognize that the root causes of health can create barriers to health for all types of populations. As a result, the Funds want communities to lead with race and racism, explicitly but not exclusively.

Health and Racial Equity Resources

  • The Groundwater Approach: A document from the Racial Equity Institute highlighting a metaphor to help individuals understand that we live in a racially structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity.
  • Health Equity in Cross-Sector Partnerships: Webinar recording by the Community Health Training Institute that outlines cross-sector partnerships and how health equity work is strengthened when we work together.