Health Equity Tips & Tactics
Group gathered at coffee shop
Happy 2019! With the beginning of the new year, we are launching a new monthly email series called, “Health Equity Tips.”  We’re kicking off by getting personal — because equity work is innately about relationships and trust building.

Health Equity Tip #01

Organize An Informal Hangout

Where to start:

  1. Find health equity allies by:

    • Observing in staff or community meetings who speaks out or is nodding in agreement when someone speaks up about racism, class, gender or power dynamics
    • Sending an email to your coworkers or posting an invitation in the lunchroom
    • Identifying who inside your department, in nearby health departments or government agencies, or nearby universities are working on equity, access, health disparities, and/or with immigrants, people with disabilities, and others impacted by inequities  
    • Joining health equity list serves like Public Health Awakened or Spirit of 1848 and putting out a call to connect with others in your jurisdiction
  2. Experiment with the best way to connect with your health equity allies.
    It could be a lunch outing, post-work drinks or coffee, or attending a local social justice event together.

  1. When you meet up, try to have each person:
    • Talk about their identity (ethnicity, race, preferred gender pronouns, etc.) and family history
    • What motivates them to do health equity work (or “story of self”)
    • What is one thing they would love to change in their workplace
  1. Once you’re in regular communication, set up a recurring meeting/get-together and rotate facilitation.

Advice from others:


“Creating time over food and drink to deepen relationships — sharing about our families, the values we have in common, our regular lives — is critically important for building the trust and understanding that allows us to stick together while doing challenging work. ”
- Andy Wessel, Douglas County Health Department (NE)  

“Start small: Pick a date that you and another colleague can commit to, pick a spot to meet (coffee shops and beer gardens are great), and then invite others. Make the gathering action-oriented by sharing info on a current issue or campaign (e.g., from Public Health Awakened or local organizers).”
-  Liz Kroboth, Public Health Justice Collective, Oakland (CA)


Examples of health equity groups that started by informally hanging out


Other relevant resources


This email is part of an ongoing series of Health Equity Tips & Tactics by Human Impact Partners to help those working at health departments dive into health equity work. For additional ideas, deeper actions, and resources to help you advance health equity, please visit the Health Equity Guide.

Tell us what you think! Your feedback will help us improve the tips and other resources.

Copyright © 2019 Human Impact Partners, All rights reserved.

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