Discussion questions for classrooms
- Why do people who live in different parts of a city have different life expectancies? What are some of the external factors in the community (not behavior or genetics) that could explain this difference?
- Explain how stereotypes and norms affect health.
- Discuss how a civic decision, like expanding a freeway or building a mass transit station, can improve the health of one community while harming the health of another. How can this outcome be avoided?
- Did the community in which you spent the most time as a child support your health, or fail to support it? Why or why not?
- Think of a community you’re familiar with that experiences health inequity. What kind of decisions and actions over the years led to this inequity? Why and how were those decisions made? What needs to happen now in order to transform this community?
- Is your current hometown/city/municipality a place that encourages health for all? What changes to your community could make it more supportive?
- What can you and your neighbors do to help institute the changes that would make your hometown healthier and more equitable? What social groups, networks, and sectors can be mobilized to create change?
Resources from Prevention Institute
The Health Equity and Prevention Primer (HEPP) serves as a web-based training series for public health practitioners and advocates interested in policy advocacy, community change, and multi-sector engagement to achieve health equity.
THRIVE stands for Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments. It is a framework for understanding how structural drivers, such as racism, play out at the community level in terms of the social-cultural, physical/built, and economic/ educational environments.
Working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PI conducted an analysis to determine the sectors and systems to engage for achieving health equity, and for pinpointing the actions to achieve equitable outcomes. The analysis resulted in Countering the Production of Inequities
Communities Taking Action (CTA) is an interactive collection of profiles showcasing community initiatives to improve health equity. To promote just and equitable health outcomes, communities need to prevent illness and injury in the first place.
Health inequities are an injustice — but they’re preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a tool to help public health practitioners work at the community level to address health inequities. The guide was developed with the help of Prevention Institute.
Prevention Institute and Tony Iton, MD, as Director of the Alameda Department of Public Health, prepared this report for the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Disparities to identify policy solutions at the community, regional and state level to reduce inequities in health and safety.
The Role of Community Culture in Efforts to Create Healthier, Safer, and More Equitable Places: A Community Health Practitioner Workbook
This workbook draws on the experiences and lessons of numerous communities working to advance place-based prevention efforts. It is designed to guide community health practitioners who want to learn more about the role of community culture in environmental change efforts.
*** For up-to-date news on health equity, see Prevention Institute’s Weekly Media Digest posts in the Prevention Institute Blog ***
The New York Times focuses on why gains in American’s wages took so long, and the role inequality is playing in slowing progress.
This op-ed by PI’s Rachel Davis in New America Media discusses the cradle-to-prison pipeline, and insufficient educational and economic opportunities for low income communities and communities of color.
Allies for Reaching Community Health Equity (ARCHE) advances equity-centered strategies that strengthen families and communities and build a culture of health. ARCHE promotes resources, learning, thought leadership, collaboration, and innovative solutions that advance health equity.
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities, speaking out for public health issues and policies backed by science.
ASTHO is a national nonprofit organization representing public health agencies in the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia, and over 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ.
HELEN is a national network designed to bolster leadership and the exchange of ideas and information among communities of color and other vulnerable populations relative to the advancement of health equity in laws, policies, and programs.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) was founded in the 1960’s. Since its inception, NACCHO has sought to improve the public’s health while adhering to a set of core values: equity, excellence, participation, respect, integrity, leadership, science & innovation.
NCHE, Milken Institute School of Public Health at the GWU of Washington, D.C; and Prevention Institute of Oakland, CA will take stock of public health departments’ practices and policies related to equity, community engagement, and social determinants of health.
The National REACH Coalition (NRC) is a national network of community-based organizations that promotes, develops, and implements health equity programs in both urban and rural communities.
PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place seeks to create the economic, social, and physical characteristics needed for healthy communities in all neighborhoods, with a focus on the needs of low-income communities and communities of color. It is dedicated to achieving and institutionalizing health equity by supporting key stakeholders with technical assistance, policy advocacy tools, research and data analysis, and coalition-building consultation.