Part of CARE’s work is providing resources for government entities and organizations to tackle health and racial inequities in their communities.
Now, CEO Action for Racial Equity, a member of the collaborative, has created a Racial Equity Implementation Framework to help these same audiences advance and sustain their racial equity efforts.
What’s Included in the Racial Equity Implementation Framework?
To create the framework, CEO Action for Racial Equity analyzed over 200 declarations of racism as a public health crisis and several existing racial equity toolkits. The Network for Public Health Law, the American Public Health Association (APHA), and Salud America! provided review and feedback.
The effort identified 11 critical – and modifiable – components for racial equity:
- Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis – Publicly acknowledge the effects of structural racism and commit to racial equity in community policies, procedures, programs, and action plans.
- Engage and Empower Communities – Engagement and work should be based on practices developed by community-based organizations.
- Increase Funding for Racial Equity Programs and Initiatives – Use grants, funding programs, and budgets to help increase funding for advancing racial equity.
- Evaluate and Address Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) – Identify SDoH needs and their root causes to address the most pressing concerns of the community being served.
- Establish a Racial and/or Health Equity Office and Advisory Committee – The office should work with task forces, stakeholders, government officials, and communities to create and help with the implementation of racial equity action plans and legislation. The Advisory Committee should coordinate with cabinet members, councils, government departments, and decision-makers to also assist with implementing plans and legislation.
- Create and Utilize Task Forces – Duties include identifying and proposing structural changes to institutional laws, regulations, policies, and practices that have perpetuated inequities.
- Collect, Analyze, and Periodically Report on Data – This will help identify root causes of racial and health disparities and inform action plans and policies to address these disparities.
- Assess and Introduce Legislation that Advances Racial Equity – Take into consideration the experiences and perspectives of the community being served to improve social, economic, and health outcomes.
- Develop and Grow Collaborative Relationships – Meaningful racial equity coalitions, alliances, and collaborative networks can increase and sustain overall impact.
- Reevaluate Internal Policies with a Racial Equity Lens – Assess, modify, and create policies and procedures that prioritize racial equity in decision-making.
- Enhance Workforce and Cultural Diversity – Recruit, interview, hire, advance, and retain racially diverse individuals.
- Expand Public Awareness – Increase the public’s understanding of the root causes of racial disparities through media outlets and other public forums.
You can read more about each recommendation on the framework’s website.
“We hope that our Racial Equity Implementation Framework can be a useful guide for municipalities and states to holistically consider key actions they can take as part of declaring racism a public health crisis, or in tandem with other racial equity initiatives,” according to CEO Action for Racial Equity.
Why Should You CARE about Racial Equity?
While it may seem that racism only impacts certain groups, such as Latinos and other people of color, it can have negative health impacts on entire communities, including White people.
Studies show that living in racist communities can cause adverse health outcomes, such as higher mortality rates and poorer overall health, in both White and minority groups.
In fact, the APHA and other institutions recognize racism as the driving force behind health disparities and a barrier to health equity.
In summary, racism is a public health crisis because it affects large amounts of people, threatens long-term health, and requires the adoption of large-scale solutions.
Get Your City to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis!
You can help, too.
Download the free Salud America! “Get Your City to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis” Action Pack to get input from local advocates of color, start a conversation with local leaders, and build local support to declare racism a public health crisis and take action to change policies and practices.
The Action Pack was created by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Salud America! Latino health equity program at UT Health San Antonio.