Healing Through Policy works to create pragmatic and achievable, yet aspirational and innovative, policies and practices that can advance local health and racial equity priorities and needs.

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, local leaders are declaring racism a public health crisis and committing to addressing systemic health and racial inequities. However, local leaders grapple with determining which policies and practices 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.

Established in November 2020, 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. The initiative will identify a suite of racial equity policies and practices that can be implemented at the local level to promote racial healing and address social inequities. Ultimately, this effort will offer local leaders a pragmatic and achievable, yet aspirational and innovative, set of policies and practices that can advance local health and racial equity priorities and needs.

Applying the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Framework

The Truth, Racial Healing, and 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.

Healing through Policy will use the TRHT framework to develop a menu of policies and practices that 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 will select the most promising options to make up the policy and practice menu. To be included in the menu, these 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
  • Have been successfully implemented in at least one jurisdiction
  • Be recommended and approved by the policy advisory committee.

Implementation

Once finalized in 2021, the policy and practice menu will be widely disseminated to cities across the United States. Then a defined set of cities will be assessed on the extent to which they have engaged with the selected policies and practices. Healing through Policy partners will provide technical assistance to local governments undertaking efforts to advance policies and practices in the package.

Contact

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

Partners