Our nation faces difficult challenges: mass shootings, racial violence, and a worrying increase in COVID cases. At the same time, the new federal administration has moved quickly to distribute vaccines, address long-standing racial inequities, and share resources with states to aid economic recovery.
I am also inspired by how many communities across the nation have embraced equity-informed policies to protect residents and improve lives.
As recovery continues, we must keep our focus on addressing the fundamental drivers of health inequities. Uprooting systemic discrimination is key to giving everyone a fair opportunity to live a healthy, prosperous life.
As we navigate the compounding tragedies of this pandemic and work to rebuild, it is our responsibility to apply creative solutions that ameliorate the hardships and injustices so many vulnerable communities are experiencing.
Let’s seize this opportunity before it passes.
Sarah de Guia, JD
CEO, ChangeLab Solutions
ChangeLab Solutions is hosting a six-part virtual discussion series to help changemakers address the drivers of health inequities and promote resilient communities. The webinar topics — community health, employment, education, planning, food systems, and housing — relate directly to advancing health equity. Join us for our next episode, Policy Solutions to Address Systemic Racism in Education, on April 28 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET. Please check our Events page for the latest updates on upcoming episodes.
US policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic offer an opportunity to address long-standing inequities. In the COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future, 50 legal experts suggest policies that can help decisionmakers at all levels of government address the inequities exacerbated by the current crisis and prepare for future public health emergencies. Our CEO Sarah de Guia assessed the recommendations from a health equity perspective.
How are public health policies enforced in ways that cause harm? A new article in the American Journal of Public Health, Equitable Enforcement of Pandemic-Related Public Health Laws: Strategies for Achieving Racial and Health Justice, investigates the effects of pandemic-era enforcement mechanisms. ChangeLab Solutions’ Maya Hazarika Watts, Katie Hannon Michel, and Jessica Breslin, as well as Elizabeth Tobin-Tyler of Alpert Medical School and the Brown University School of Public Health, demonstrate how decisionmakers can apply equitable enforcement principles during and after the pandemic.
Apply by April 16 to join our Housing Solutions Collaborative. Cross-sector community teams in eight small or mid-sized cities will build their capacity to address housing issues that have produced unjust disparities in health and wealth. Awardees will benefit from a year of peer support, technical assistance from ChangeLab Solutions, and a stipend. Apply today for support in creating equitable housing solutions that can improve housing quality, prevent displacement, and advance environmental justice!