Healing Through Policy: Sample Policies and Practices to Address Systemic Health and Racial Inequities

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Across the country, there is growing acknowledgment of the impact of racism on the health of individuals and communities. Through resolutions, executive orders, and other mechanisms, many local leaders are declaring racism a public health crisis and are committing to addressing systemic health and racial inequities. Leaders are exploring the policies and practices that are most needed to move from commitment to action and how to best use policy to effect meaningful change toward health, racial equity, and justice. Download the initiative’s summary of policies and practices.

Launched in October 2021, Healing Through Policy: Creating Pathways to Racial Justice is an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the National Collaborative for Health Equity. In its first phase, the initiative’s partners and advisory committee identified a suite of racial equity policies and practices that can be implemented at the local level to promote racial healing and address social inequities.

The policy and practice suite is being widely disseminated to cities across the United States. In coming years, Healing Through Policy partners plan to provide technical assistance to local governments and community leaders undertaking efforts to advance policies and practices in the suite.

Policy and Practice Options

Policy and Practice Briefs

The following briefs provide additional context, evidence, and examples of how localities are implementing the policies and practices described in the Healing Through Policy suite.

Applying the Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Framework

The Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation (TRHT) model is the guiding framework for the initiative’s proposed policy and practice approach. The TRHT framework is a comprehensive, national, and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. TRHT recognizes that advancing racial equity and justice requires repairing past harms, addressing the underlying beliefs that fuel racism, and facilitating healing within and across communities. First introduced by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2017, the TRHT framework is used by communities around the nation and on dozens of college campuses to promote racial healing and relationship building.

Healing Through Policy used TRHT framework in curating its suite of policies and practices to advance health and racial equity through the foundational components of Narrative Change, Racial Healing and Relationship Building, Separation, Law, and Economy. A policy advisory committee comprising diverse policy experts, partners, stakeholders, and community representatives selected the most promising options. To be included in the suite, policies and practices must:

  • Show promise of impact on health and racial equity (via evidence or expert opinion);
  • Acknowledge and address historic racial injustices and demonstrate meaningful engagement of impacted communities;
  • Be under local jurisdictional authority; and
  • Have been successfully implemented in at least one jurisdiction.

Policy Advisory Committee

  • Donyel Barber, City of Gastonia (NC) City Council
  • Debbie Chang, BlueShield Foundation of California
  • Daniel Dawes, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Senator Bill Frist, M.D., Bipartisan Policy Center Fellow
  • Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink
  • Grace Hou, Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Dr. Anthony Iton, The California Endowment
  • Dr. Clarion E. Johnson, de Beaumont Foundation Board of Directors

  • Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, Trust for America’s Health
  • Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans
  • La Quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, First Alaskans Institute
  • Dr. Jamila Porter, de Beaumont Foundation
  • Eduardo Sanchez, American Heart Association
  • Dr. Karen Smith, Consultant
  • Dr. Steven Woolf, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Virginia Commonwealth University

Contact

For updates and to learn more about Healing Through Policy, contact Brittany Giles-Cantrell.

Partners