Honoring MLK’s Legacy by Transforming Narratives
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Najaf Ahmad
3w ago
To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, let’s work together to shatter false narratives and advance those that embody justice and equity. The “bootstrap” narrative is embedded in American culture. We are bombarded with stories of those who “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,” achieving success through perseverance, hard work and grit. But in a 1967 interview at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church—his home church—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged that narrative, observing: “It’s a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to pull himself up by his bootstraps.” With this ..read more
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Tools to Guide Your 2023 Health Equity Journey
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Culture of Health Blog
1M ago
Check out these resources that can inform progress toward health equity this year. Powerful data, in-depth research, and wisdom from health equity champions can help us do our part in shaping healthier, more equitable, and more just communities. That’s why, to kick off 2023, we’re sharing a brief roundup of resources that can help you advance health equity in your community. 1. Use these websites to gather data about community health. These easy-to-navigate data generating sites can help build a stronger understanding of community conditions, amplify the experiences of residents, an ..read more
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Using Data to Advance Health Equity in Your Community
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Culture of Health Blog
1M ago
These easy-to-navigate tools can reveal important information about community conditions influencing health. Data, compiled and analyzed with health equity at the top of the agenda, are important for identifying problems, allocating resources, and targeting interventions to those who most need them. They can help tell stories about local communities and pinpoint the health damage done by structural racism.  But data also have pitfalls and must be collected and interpreted cautiously. Too often, data are incomplete. People also don’t know that they are c ..read more
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How to Counter Preemption Laws That Can Undermine Health Equity
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Giridhar Mallya
2M ago
While special interests in many states attempt to block progress toward health equity, local communities are shaping solutions to give everyone a fair and just opportunity for health.  A major milestone in our nation's struggle for civil rights was the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state-sponsored segregation in public schools was inherently unequal and thus unconstitutional. With that ruling, the federal government preempted state and local laws that mandated or allowed for segregation in public schools. Preemption, then used to adva ..read more
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We Used Your Insights to Update Our Graphic on Equity
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Joan Barlow
2M ago
Faced with the challenge of visually conveying the difference between equality and equity, we incorporated input from our audience and stakeholders. Learn about our process and view the updated graphic. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, having the right picture is worth even more. When conveying a concept as nuanced as the difference between equality and equity, developing a visual that effectively engages diverse audiences and helps generate meaningful conversations can take time and a great deal of input, thought, and care. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has long recognized that graphi ..read more
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It’s Time for a Reckoning in the Field of Health Equity Research
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Alonzo L. Plough
3M ago
What will it take to deeply embed equity in the data, evidence, and knowledge that fuel change? My 25 years of experience in public health have made it clear: it’s time for new thinking, investments, practices, and approaches in research if a healthier and more equitable future is to be possible for all.  I was born at a time when Black families were denied care in most hospitals. In my hometown of Kansas City, my mother gave birth to me at the Frederick Douglass Hospital, the first Black hospital West of the Mississippi and the only place my family could go for medical care. The hospita ..read more
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How Unjust Policies Influence Who Experiences the Harms of Climate Change First
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Vivek Shandas, PhD
3M ago
Research reveals how discriminatory policies like redlining have made many communities more vulnerable to the harms of climate change. Fortunately, solutions exist. I will never forget late June 2021 in Portland—not because it was filled with family time, trips to the Pacific coast or even because of the pandemic—but because of the extreme heat beating down on the region. A “heat dome” trapped hot air over my home state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, killing almost 1,000 people as temperatures soared to a whopping 120° F. Scientists have found that this wouldn't have happened without cl ..read more
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What Can We Do About Biases Baked Into Data?
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by George Hobor
3M ago
We believe that local data can help uncover inequities and inform decisions that support healthier communities. But what happens when the data we rely on fail to capture the social reality we imagine they do? Or when the data are flawed, incomplete—or worse, riddled with bias? While data are critical in guiding policy and allocation decisions, it’s important to understand what data are and what data are not. Data are too often seen as objective, neutral, and accurate representations of reality. But the data points guiding our decisions are produced through human decision-making—and the bias a ..read more
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Preemption is Blocking Family-Support Policies That Our Nation Needs
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Mona Shah
3M ago
In spite of the benefits to families and businesses, many states have shut down sorely needed local policies such as paid leave and minimum wage increases. This is the final post in a series that explores the double-edged sword of preemption. Here we examine how states have used preemption to impede local decision-making on popular, family-supporting, evidence-based policies. Paid leave and a living wage are tremendously popular public policies proven to advance health equity for working people, families, and businesses. Yet why do millions in states across the nation lack access to these pol ..read more
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What We’re Watching—And Why It Matters for Equity
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation » Culture of Health
by Mona Shah
4M ago
Think we’re all just passively binging on television? Think again. The programs we’re watching influence our thinking—and can help drive a more equitable future. We were excited to tune in to season two of Reservation Dogs, not only because this coming-of-age comedy is a delight to watch, but also because it is a story told largely by Native actors, writers, producers, and directors. In fact, Reservation Dogs has earned a Culture of Health Prize Award through the Norman Lear Center which recognizes visionary storytelling that addresses critical and complex issues of health, well–being ..read more
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