As 2019 draws to a close, we encourage you to reflect on what you’ve thought through in the past few months (tips #8, #9, #10, and #11) and verbalize for yourself the vision you want for yourself, your loved ones, and our society.
Connecting about shared values enables us to lean into trust during harder conversations. This month, practice identifying shared values and taking a small, strategic risk in conversation with someone in your life.
In this month’s tip, we practice analyzing and changing the dominant narrative around an important topic: the climate crisis. In addition to exacerbating health inequities at exponential levels, the climate crisis is a topic whose narrative is (with much necessity) shifting rapidly.
To change the status quo with strategic narratives, we need to first develop a shared analysis - of how racism is a system of advantage and how master narratives limit our efforts to address inequities. This month's tip helps us begin developing a shared analysis using critical race theory.
One key facet of power is being able to influence people’s worldview. Narrative work matters because the root of health inequities is the unequal distribution of power upheld by racism, classism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of oppression. Let’s dive in together into master narratives about health.
We can’t build something new without imagining it first. This summer, we're kicking off a new set of Health Equity Tips to help deepen relationships and dismantle master narratives. The first step is finding colleagues/allies/peeps to connect and imagine with.
Meaningful and inclusive community engagement is an important way to “practice what you preach” with regards to advancing equity. One way to ensure meaningful community engagement in health department practice is to identify your department’s current policy - if one exists - and propose changes if needed.
Establishing shared definitions is a critical step in health equity work. Agreeing on a definition of structural racism establishes racism as a determinant of health and opens conversations about what your department is doing to address or reinforce structural racism.
Applying an equity tool to an existing program or policy in your health department can be a concrete way to engage other staff members in discussions about structural racism and systems change. Equity tools can open space to reflect on existing dynamics and status quo, and identify new solutions or opportunities for advancing equity.
Proactively connecting with govt employees in other agencies can help support collaborative, equity-focused work. In fact, it's critical to be proactive because directly and indirectly, government is responsible for many of the structures that have created and maintained racism and power imbalances in our society.
Community organizers tend to work on improving the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health — even if they don’t use those words — and so their work may align and complement the work that you're doing to address health inequities. Part of the Health Equity Tips & Tactics monthly email series.
Organizational transformation begins at the personal level. It's important to focus energy on developing deep and real relationships with those who are in this work w/ us. Part of the Health Equity Tips & Tactics monthly email series.