Health Equity Resources

Our Work on Health Equity  /  Health Equity Resources

Resources to Help on the Journey to Health Equity


The resources gathered below are examples of the rich work happening throughout the health equity field. Although not an exhaustive compilation, we hope the resources will assist those interested in learning more about and being involved in health equity work. 

CDC Foundation Tools and Resources

A wide range of resources to aid in your equity journey produced in partnership with the CDC Foundation. 

CDC Foundation Resources

Principles for Using Public Health Data to Drive Equity

The data equity principles build upon thought leadership and practical applications for creating data systems. The principles offer a shift in thinking as we consider our methods for planning, collecting, accessing, analyzing and disseminating data: How can each of us make more impactful decisions?


Public Health and Homelessness Toolkit for State and Local Health Departments

The Centers of Excellence in Public Health and Homelessness Toolkit for State and Local Health Departments is designed to assist health departments and other public health organizations in their efforts to support public health for people experiencing homelessness (PEH) in their jurisdictions. This toolkit provides tools, templates, program blueprints and strategies to assist health departments in understanding, planning and implementing program activities and objectives.


Strategies to Improve Communication and Messaging in Rural Populations: Guidance for Supporting Vaccination

Rural communities, especially those with substantial American Indian/Alaska Native, African American/Black or Latino/Hispanic populations, have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infections and deaths. Factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy in rural communities are complex and influenced by diverse cultures, social and political values, histories and demographics. This diversity emphasizes the need for tailored strategies that reflect each rural community's needs, priorities and values.

Strategies and Frameworks

Resources for guiding the development and implementation of organizational equity strategies. Frameworks range from understanding structural racism to operationalizing equity in your organization. Organizational equity assessments are also included in this section.

Strategies and Frameworks Resources

Advancing Racial Equity: A Framework for Federal Agencies 

Advancing Racial Equity: A Framework for Federal Agencies has emerged from years of work with local and state governments across the country by Race Forward’s Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE). The report describes the components of a racial equity approach and walks practitioners and leaders in the federal government through key actions and the challenges they will face as they embark on implementing racial equity strategies.


Applying a Health Equity Lens to Evaluate and Inform Policy

The articles explores how the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) for Health Disparities Research at Morehouse School of Medicine applied a "health equity lens" to health policy research, development and implementation. 


Blueprint for Changemakers: Achieving Health Equity Through Law and Policy

This resource from ChangeLab Solutions presents legal strategies and best practices to help policymakers, practitioners and communities improve health outcomes.


Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Strategies: A Field Guide

The guide by the Community Wealth Partners aims to help in the strategy development process with a clear understanding of which stakeholers to engage, why stakeholder input matters and how to engage stakeholders. The guide encourages readers to reconsider who stakeholders are and how to engage them in more equitable ways.


Equity Footprint: A Framework to Advance Change

The Equity Footprint, from Frontline Solutions, is a framework to help foundation leaders comprehensively analyze their institutions’ impact (or footprint) in advancing equity. An equity footprint is the impact of a philanthropic organization on communities, expressed as the extent to which the foundation engages in equitable practices via the domains of organizational culture, grantmaking, investments, leadership and governance, operations, communications and evaluation and learning.


Grantmaking With a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide:

The guide from Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity centers perspectives of racial justice activities first, and then of funders working on change in their institutions, to identify best practices for driving philanthropy beyond racial equity toward justice.


The Groundwater Approach: Building a Practical Understanding of Structural Racism

In an effort to help leaders, organizers, and organizations stay focused on the structural and cultural roots of racial inequity, the Racial Equity Institute developed the “Groundwater” metaphor and accompanying analytical framework to explain the nature of racism as it currently exists in the United States.


Health Equity Guide

This website, a Human Impacts Partner Project, is structured around a set of strategic practices that health departments can apply to more meaningfully and comprehensively advance health equity.


How to Work with Local Leaders to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

The webinar, co-hosted by the Network for Public Health Law and Salud America!, explores resources and tools for engaging local advocates and leaders in drafting resolutions. Hear about efforts to get two Florida jurisdictions to declare racism a public health crisis and the multi-disciplinary group of partners and organizations working collectively to raise awareness and provide tools and resources to communities working to advance health and racial equity.


Integrating Equitable Engagement into Your RFP Process

A "cheat sheet" developed by Kim Lundgren Associates, Inc. (KLA) for local governments to set clear expectations for, ask the right questions of and effectively evaluate consultants on the ability to deliver equitable community engagement.


Massachusetts Public Health Association: Health Equity Policy Framework

The Health Equity Policy Framework, designed by the Massachusetts Public Health Association: Action for Equity in Health, is an example of a guide for a leadership board, Policy Council, staff and partners to operationalize achieving health equity.


More than Numbers: A Guide Towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Data Collection

Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation developed this guide for organizations that seek to apply a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens to their internal data collection processes and assess and improve how they collect constituent information through tools such as alumni surveys and program evaluations.


CDC: Office of Minority Health and Health Equity

Connecting to resources, strategies and articles from CDC's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. 


Operationalizing Equity: Putting the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Racial and Ethnic Equity and Inclusion Framework into Action

This brief report is meant to capture where the Anne E. Casey Foundation is at the beginning of 2017 in regards to their health equity journey. It is meant to serve as a resource and reference point for other organizations that share in their desire to embrace equity as a core value reflected in all elements of the institution’s programs and operations.


Principles for Using Public Health Data to Drive Equity: A guide to embedding equitable practices throughout the data life cycle

Data are the building blocks to help us better understand health inequities. Researchers and public health practitioners are recognizing their power to shift approaches to health inequities by centering these conversations on community-level participation and voices. Acknowledging this power, the CDC Foundation, with insights from the CDC, has developed Principles for Using Public Health Data to Drive Equity to create a more equitable data life cycle. The data equity principles provide a framework for a shift in thinking about how equity-mindedness throughout the entire data life cycle can shape and create more equitable data systems.


Promoting Healthy Public Policy through Community-Based Participatory Research: Ten Case Studies

The executive summary by PolicyLink outlines ten community-based participatory research case studies looking at partnerships and their roles in contributing to health-promoting public policy and provides recommendations based on the outcomes of the case studies.


Racial Equity Value Statements

Partnership for a Healthy Durham: Better Together compiled racial equity value statements from various organizations located in different places. This document also contains the summary of the purpose of each organization and what they are doing as a whole.


Racial Equity Policy Design and Advocacy: A Primer

Prosperity Now's primer aims to identify the elements of advocacy, policy design and implementation practices that improve outcomes for people of color.


Strengthening Our Equity Muscle To Accelerate Impact: The United Way Equity Framework

This Framework is a resource to help United Ways in the United States to identify, develop and implement impact strategies, practices, processes and messaging to drive equitable community change. At the foundation of the framework is a shared definition and vision of equity, and six levers which United Ways can employ to advance equity: data, community mobilization and engagement; communications and awareness building; fundraising, resource allocation and grantmaking; policy and advocacy; and local capacity building.


What Are Health Disparities and Health Equity? We Need to Be Clear

This article discusses the need for greater clarity about the concepts of health disparities and health equity, proposes definitions, and explains the rationale based on principles from the fields of ethics and human rights.

Research and Data

Emerging research in the health equity field that centers on growing public awareness of root causes of inequities through health policy, data visualization and reports of disease burden for historically marginalized communities.

Research and Data Resources

Advancing Health Equity Through Immunization

The COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted health inequities at national, state and local levels. This report from Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) details the role immunization can play in reducing these disparities, informed directly by conversations ASTHO held with state equity and immunization leaders from March-July 2021. Those conversations were distilled into 20 key actions health agencies can take to make an impact.


COVID-19 and the Experience of Populations at Greater Risk

As a continuation of RAND Corporation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation efforts to capture how people in the United States think about, value and prioritize issues of health, well-being and health equity, a new longitudinal survey aims to understand how health views and values have been affected by the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report summarizes the descriptive findings from the first wave of the COVID-19 and the Experiences of Populations at Greater Risk Survey, fielding during summer and fall 2020. 


Do No Harm Guide: Applying Equity Awareness in Data Visualization

This resource developed by Urban Institute offers a set of guidelines for presenting data through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. It helps data communicators and other data practitioners see how choices made about colors, shapes, words, and representations in data analyses and visualizations can affect how people perceive the results, how change might be implemented, and how that change will impact different people and communities.


DRIVERS for Health Equity: Improving Health Equity Through Actions Across the Life Course

DRIVERS was a three-year research project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program aiming to find links and best ways to tackle health equity through policy and practice in early childhood development, employment and income and social protection.


Health Equity Tracker

Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Equity Tracker was created in 2020 by the Satcher Health Leadership Institute of the Morehouse School of Medicine to aggregate up-to-date demographic data from the hardest-hit communities. The Health Equity Tracker aims to give a detailed view of health outcomes by race, ethnicity, sex and other critical factors. The data aims to help identify, understand and respond to health inequities in our communities in a way that will allow every person to live well and long from generation to generation.


How can we use data to inform practices to advance health equity?

Written by the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and Morehouse School of Medicine, the article explores ways of using data to advance health equity and emphasizes the need to not "conveniently" separate data, but rather look at how groups can be diversified to better reflect the true meaning of the data.


Power, Privilege and Priorities

The 2020 report from Global Health 50/50 provides an unprecedented birds-eye view of the global health system today. It reveals that the leadership of the 200 most prominent organizations active in global health continues to reflect power and privilege asymmetries along historical, geographic and gender lines. The report further uncovers a distinct disconnect between the organizational priorities and the gendered burdens of disease around the world.


Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Across the country, local and state leaders are declaring racism a public health crisis or emergency. These declarations are an important first step to advancing racial equity and justice and must be followed by allocation of resources and strategic action. The storytelling map and analysis developed by American Public Health Association (APHA) show what steps localities committed to taking to address racism and their efforts to advance racial equity.


Resources on Health Equity in the Context of COVDI-19 & Disproportionate Outcomes for Marginalized Groups

The Culture of Health Program is committed to advancing the scientific underpinnings for progress in health equity and sharing evidence-based strategies to bring about the transformation in policy decision-making and public recognition necessary to dismantle structural racism and ultimately achieve health equity for all.


Social Determinants as Public Goods: A New Approach to Financing Key Investments in Healthy Communities

Drawing on lesser-known economic models and available data, the article demonstrates how a properly governed, collaborative approach to financing could enable self-interested health stakeholders to earn a financial return on and sustain their social determinants investments

Program Toolkits and Guidance

Resources for guiding the development and implementation of equity-focused programs and policies, as well as mobilization and civic engagement strategies for deeper community impact.

Program Toolkits and Guidance

Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts

The AMA developed, in partnership with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Center for Health Justice, one of the most comprehensive health equity communication guides to support physicians’ conversations with patients. Designed for physicians and other health care professionals, the Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts provides guidance and promotes a deeper understanding of equity-focused, person-first language and why it matters.


All the People, All the Places: Landscape of Opportunity for Rural and Small-Town Civic Engagement

In this paper, long-time organizer and grassroots consultant Ben Goldfarb, presents a nuanced landscape analysis and strategy review, providing cogent insights for funders across the issues and challenges that affect those who live in small towns and cities. He outlines a set of options for investments by national and place-based donors and their grantees to reverse our absence.


American Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations: Health Equity Resources

The American Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) current efforts fall within three focus areas:  health equity and access, training and capacity building and health care quality and innovation. Resources are available for each of these focus areas.


APHA: Health Equity

American Public Health Association (APHA) health equity fact sheets, briefs, reports and infographics as well as additional resources. 


Assessing Meaningful Community Engagement: A Conceptual Model to Advance Health Equity through Transformed Systems for Health

The National Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Consortium: Collaboration for a Value and Science-Driven Health System, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and guidance from an Organizing Committee, is advancing a project to identify concepts and metrics that can best assess the extent, process and impact of community engagement. This effort aims to provide community-engaged, effective and evidence-based tools to those who want to measure engagement to ensure that it is meaningful and impactful, emphasizing equity as a critical input and outcome.


ATL Action for Racial Equity 

For more than a century, metro Atlanta has been home to countless leaders and organizations that have worked to advance civil rights and racial equity. Still, as Atlanta leads the nation as a welcoming location with a rich Black community, systemic racism, immobility and inequity are all too prevalent. This new effort from Metro Atlanta Chamber will accelerate racial equity by leveraging the size and scale of Atlanta's business community, and the power of collective impact.


Bias-Free and Inclusive Language: Resources and Examples

It can be helpful for even the most experienced writers and editors to review ever-evolving guidelines on bias-free and inclusive language. This article from Association of Donor Relations Professionals provides resources and examples of bias-free language.


Business and Public Health: Working Together for More Prosperous Communities

In partnership with the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the de Beaumont Foundation released “Seven Ways Business Can Align with Health for Bold Action and Innovation,” which presents practical steps that businesses can take to strengthen partnerships and improve health.


CDC Foundation Guide to Building Tribal Public Health Capacity

This guide provides a pathway for tribal nations to improve the health status of their members and reduce health disparities and details a process to expand tribal public health capacity with consideration given to tribal size, the source of health service delivery system funding and the status of public health effort. It is designed to serve as a resource for tribes as they determine how best to implement fundamental public health services in complex settings, appropriately adapted to meet the specific needs of their populations.


Center for Health Equity Practice

The webpage for MPHI's Center for Health Equity Practice (CHEP) provides workshops, technical assistance, resources and projects to help collaborating partners implement programs, conduct research and support strategies that address the root causes of inequities.


Centering Racial Justice and Grassroots Ownership in Collective Impact

This project overview in the Stanford Social Innovation Review explores "how a top-down coalition focused on reducing youth substance use in a predominantly white, rural area of Western Massachusetts has prioritized equity and community engagement." It provides an example of several organizations working to improve youth health, well-being and health equity in the 30 small towns of rural Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region in Western Massachusetts by bringing together key stakeholders, collecting local data and following national research and best practices.


COVID-19 Health Equity Resources

Throughout the COVID-19  pandemic, the AMA is curating critical health equity resources from across the web to examine the structural issues that contribute to and could exacerbate already existing inequities.


Digital Toolkit: A Guide to Cancer Screenings in Indian Country

This toolkit has been developed to share the best practices for programs as they implement the evidence-based interventions (EBIs) and strategies found in The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). This action guide is designed specifically for Tribal health systems interested in increasing high-quality, population-based breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings. It has been piloted with nine Tribal sites to assess overall effectiveness in implementing cancer screening EBIs.


Ensuring Equity in COVID-19 Planning, Response and Recovery Decision Making: An Equity Lens Tool for Health Departments

This Equity Lens Tool from Big City Health Coalitions and Human Impact Partners can be used by anyone working a health department's COVID-19 planning, response, and recovery contexts–particularly those leading or coordinating–who wishes to ensure equity in a proposed decision.


Equitable Enforcement to Achieve Health Equity: An Introductory Guide for Policymakers and Practitioners

Equitable enforcement is crucial for measures and policies that affect public health in areas such as retail licensing, employment, education and housing. Read the full guide from ChangeLab to learn more about equitable options for administrative, civil and criminal enforcement in a wide variety of public health policy areas.


Equitable Healthy Aging in Public Health Toolkit Report: A Guide for Community Health Improvement Practice

The Equitable Healthy Aging in Public Health Toolkit Report from the University of South Florida aims to increase the capacity of public health departments to enhance equitable health and wellbeing of older adults and promote healthy aging across the life course in community health improvement practice. 


Health Equity Assessment Toolkit (HEAT)

The World Health Organization's Health Equity Assessment Toolkit (HEAT)is a built-in database edition of the HEAT software using the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health dataset of the WHO Health Inequality Monitor data repository.


How Community Organizing Promotes Health Equity, And How Health Equity Affects Organizing

This article in Health Affairs: Advancing Health Equity, reverses the analytical focus from how organizing can affect health equity to consider how the frame of health equity has shaped grassroots organizing. Using evidence from a range of cases in California, the article suggests the health equity frame can guide and justify grassroots groups’ efforts to improve the health outcomes of marginalized populations; connect issues such as housing and school discipline to health; and provide a rationale for community organizing groups to directly address the trauma experienced by their own members and staff, who often come from communities at risk for poor health outcomes.


HRET HIIN Health Equity Origanizational Assessment

The guide by the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) and Washington State Hospital Association provides resources to assist in health equity organizational assessments and outlines seven key assessment categories to support the reduction of disparities in care.


Pathways to Population Health Equity

Developed in partnership with WE in the World, CDC and ASTHO, the Pathways to Health Equity website and framework helps public health change agents have the tools they need to create equitable change in partnership with communities experiencing inequities. 


The Principles of Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement: A Guide to Transformative Change

The Principles for Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement invites community leaders, policy makers, planners and community developers to share in the Kirwan Institute’s collective knowledge and experience with promoting equitable civic engagement and community development. 


Public Health and Equity Resource Navigator

PHERN, or the Public Health and Equity Resource Navigator, aims to help changemakers navigate resources focused on ending the pandemic, advancing equity, and building a resilient, robust, sustainable public health system for the future.


Racial Equity Data Roadmap: Data as a Tool Towards Ending Structural Racism

The Racial Equity Data Road Map, developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) for data users, is a summary of tools and strategies that help bring together both the intellectual and emotional assets that are necessary to address the ongoing health inequities. The Road Map is a living document that outlines a number of steps for using data that have been piloted and tested within MDPH.


Racial Equity Toolkit: An Opportunity to Operationalize Equity

Racial equity tools are designed to integrate explicit consideration of racial equity in decisions, including policies, practices, programs and budgets. It is both a product and a process. Use of a racial equity tool, like this one from Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), can help to develop strategies and actions that reduce racial inequities and improve success for all groups.


Resources & Style Guides for Framing Health Equity & Avoiding Stigmatizing Language

A resource guide from the CDC linking references, other resources and style guides to frame health equity and avoid stigmatizing language.


Thriving Together: A Springboard for Equitable Recovery and Resilience in Communities Across America

A project of the Well Being Trust, this resource highlights scores of actions that communities, organizations, businesses, governments and funders can take in the wake of COVID-19 and other tangled threats to the United States. It is a practical resource to help secure the vital conditions that all people and places need to thrive.


Time to Transform: Adaptive Approaches for Population Health

A guide for local health department teams currently in the process of or preparing to evolve towards population health services, this toolkit from Northwest Center for Public Health Practice and Public Health Institute integrates recent research in the field of population health practice: from key informant interviews conducted with leaders from seven local health departments to findings collected from a Learning Laboratory community of practice comprising five local health departments from across the United States.


Vaccine Resource Hub

Created as part of the CDC-funded Partnering for Vaccine Equity (P4VE) program, the Vaccine Resource Hub was developed by the CDC Foundation for community-based organizations and the public to download a wide variety of diverse and culturally relevant materials about COVID-19 and flu vaccination. The site currently offers over 500 resources in 34 languages as well as links to other useful repositories and information. Materials on the Vaccine Resource Hub are continuously being updated and reviewed for accuracy and relevance.