June CEO Message: Advancing Health Equity and Anti-Racism Work

Racism is a public health crisis. Institutional and internalized white privilege and racism continue to hinder our ability to achieve critical progress in health, social, and economic equity. At NACDD, we are committed to action against racism to promote social justice.

Last week, we announced we are distributing nine mini-grants of $25,000 to select states to advance health equity and anti-racism work in the United States.

The grants are being offered to states that have participated in our Health Equity pilot project to address systemic racism in their State Health Departments. The grantees will receive the new funding for the application of either of NACDD’s nationally recognized tools, Moving to Institutional Equity: A Tool to Address Racial Equity for Public Health Practitioners or the Health Equity at Work Assessment. NACDD will announce the grantees for this invitation-only opportunity in July 2020.

NACDD has worked for more than 15 years through its Health Equity Council, currently led by Council Chair Louise Square of the New York State Department of Health, to counter the root causes of unintentional bias and institutional racism as it exists in State Health Departments.

There is so much work to be done. Together, we must ensure that our efforts to promote health equity are not compromised by institutional racism or the lack of knowledge about how anti-racist activities can be leveraged to enhance our programs. We urge you to stand with us in solidarity to continue our work confronting racism.


Our Call to Action specifically for you, our Members, is to engage your State Health Departments’ Chronic Disease Units in listening sessions to foster open and transparent dialogue around issues of race and unintentional bias. I also encourage you to use our Health Equity Guide to help you consider ways you can dismantle racism within the institutions where you work.

Additional resources:

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