As I mark the beginning of my fifth year as CEO of ChangeLab Solutions, I have been thinking about how we, as public health practitioners, have an important role in addressing systemic change, not just individual change. As public health laws and policies continue to be challenged in courts and legislatures, using our voice to advance equity is imperative — and to do so, we need to understand the nuances of advocacy and lobbying within our political landscape. That’s why I’ve prioritized teaching workshops around the country on advocacy in the current political climate; my next session will be at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo this month.
It is critical that we speak up, take action, and collaborate to support laws and policies that create healthy environments. In particular, we need to learn about, understand, and actively dismantle historical inequities that help create and reinforce disparate health outcomes. I am sharing my latest blog post, Calling All Public Health Practitioners: The Time for Advocacy Is Now! I hope that you’ll read it and that we can work together as advocates to promote systemic change.
Read on for highlights of our current projects at ChangeLab Solutions, in which we are working to create structural change in food systems, housing, and more. Please reach out with any questions or ideas for collaboration.
Addressing how structural racism has shaped food systems and inequitable health outcomes is one key to reversing the health gaps experienced in BIPOC communities and communities with low income. Our blog post Pathways to a Racially Just Food System describes how ChangeLab Solutions is building on the learnings from our equity-focused projects to develop a new approach to food justice that focuses our efforts on the upstream drivers of health inequity. We are integrating emerging food justice frameworks and identifying legal and policy strategies to transform the food policy landscape in ways that advance racial justice.
Our three-part webinar series Equitable Implementation of Healthy Housing Policies illustrates how an equitable implementation framework can be used across key issue areas to promote access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. We highlight connections to systemic drivers of health inequities and show how strong policies paired with effective and equitable implementation can promote health equity. Stay tuned for the third webinar later this month, which will answer questions like "How can state agencies use innovative partnerships and programs to build community trust, improve access to justice, and maximize the impact of limited resources?"
SSI is a cash benefit program for individuals who have a qualifying disability and meet income, asset, and immigration status requirements. The SSI appeals process provides an opportunity for children and families who have received a less than fully favorable determination to appeal their determination outcome. We have developed three fact sheets to help policymakers and other interested groups — including families of applicants as well as Social Security Administration officials at federal, state, and local levels — better understand the steps and timeline of the SSI appeals process.
The American Public Health Association’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo will take place on November 12–15, and we’ll be there! Our staff members will speak on issues ranging from advocacy in the current political climate to law and policy systems thinking for combatting misinformation and disinformation. View our schedule, and stop by booth #508 to connect with us!