Engage in Movements

Engage in Movements
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How Can We Engage in Movements?

Engage strategically in social justice campaigns and movements to advance equity (Read actions you can take below)

Winning policy changes that improve social determinants is inherently tied to advancing health equity. Therefore, health departments must strategically support social justice campaigns and movements that advance equity – such as efforts to raise the minimum wage, reform the criminal justice system, and protect communities from displacement — by providing research, advocacy, and capacity building.

Community partners may initiate and lead these campaigns, rather than the health department or other government agencies, and the campaigns/movements may or may not explicitly focus on advancing health equity. Health departments can offer a range of support to community partners, including providing data and conducting research, as well as advocating in support of community partners’ interests using the health department’s standing as experts.

Actions to Advance Equity Using This Practice

Your leadership, staff, and department can take the following actions to engage in movements:

  • Identify, support, and work collaboratively with the leadership of grassroots and civic organizations whose activities and campaigns advance health equity
  • Create and champion a legislative agenda that focuses on upstream social determinants, and undertake direct and/or indirect advocacy in decision-making contexts to advance targeted policies
  • Work with communities experiencing inequities to co-develop, adopt, and promote a shared agenda and narrative to advance health equity
  • Develop, influence, and/or implement policies to improve social and economic conditions, especially for communities experiencing health inequities
  • Publish social justice-related data and research that community partners are prioritizing and using to organize — particularly data that align with the department’s priorities
  • Present at legislative hearings, press conferences, community events, and other public spaces about how health and equity are affected by the social justice issues that mobilize community partners
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