Advancing conversations with decision-makers and securing specific provisions in public policy
Racial Equity in Public Policy
The Call for Racial Equity
The policies we create—and the physical, economic, cultural and social environments they shape—too often have an unjust effect on American Indians and Alaska Natives, Latinos, Black and African Americans, and Asian and Pacific Islanders. This creates and upholds current systems of oppression, embeds racism in our structures and institutions, and limits opportunities for health, social, economic and financial advancement.
Structural racism is a fundamental cause of persistent health disparities in the United States. That’s why, in 2020, the American Heart Association issued a Presidential Advisory on structural racism as a cause of premature death . It is also why cities and states are declaring racism a public health issue . And it’s why Voices for Healthy Kids is calling on our staff, grantees and collaborators to speak clearly and directly to advance the conversation about structural racism and to use policy as a tool to dismantle it.
We’ve developed research-based messages to use with decision-makers to embed specific racial equity language in public policy because equal (giving everyone the same thing) isn’t equitable (ensuring everyone has what they need).
“Ruffling feathers is hardly new for advocates. It’s why we do what we do— to move one step closer to creating the world our children deserve.”
Lori Fresina, Executive Director and Vice President, Voices for Healthy Kids, American Heart Association
-  Keith Churchwell et al., “Call to Action: Structural Racism as a Fundamental Driver of Health Disparities: A Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association,” Circulation 142, no.24 (November 2020), http://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000936.
-  “Declaration of Racism as a Public Health Issue,” American Public Health Association, http://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/health-equity/racism-and-health/racism-declarations.