Equity ARC: April 2017

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APRIL 2017

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Raising the Bar 

for All

This year we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary by continuing to connect and build with others to advance equity. Join us!


Center for Health Equity

400 East Gray Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40202



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Find us on Twitter & Instagram @louequity  

Join the conversation #LouEquity





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Earth Day and Environmental Justice  

In June 2017, the Center for Health Equity will be closing out our tenth year anniversary. Over this past year, Dr. Brandy Kelly Pryor identified the three pillars of CHE that guide the way in which we advocate for fairness and justice. These are youth engagement, community capacity building, and environmental justice. With the celebration of Earth Day on April 22, we reflect on the origins of environmental justice, equity and its grounding through Dr. Robert Bullard.

In a 1999 interview, Dr. Bullard describes the intrinsic connection between environmental justice and health in his understanding that environment is “where we live, work, play, go to school, as well as the physical and natural world.” Knowing that each of these have a significant factor on our physical health and quality of life, Dr. Bullard makes an explicit argument to intentionally center communities of color in environmental work because it is these communities who are often most impacted by hazardous living conditions. Understanding that “wetlands, birds and wilderness areas” are important should not negate that the health of children and their families are also significantly impacted when “poisoned by lead in housing [or] playing in contaminated playgrounds.”

In our work to advocate for health equity--the highest quality of life for everyone which overcomes systemic and social barriers--we value how important healthy environments are to one’s ability to thrive physically, mentally and socially. Over the past year, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness has developed the capacity to conduct health impact assessments (HIAs), neutral documents that identify health impacts of proposed or ongoing projects. HIAs require community engagement and are a helpful tool to advance health and equity across our communities.

Also, keep an eye out for our upcoming 2017 Health Equity Report that will also include 3 new health outcomes that have connections to environmental justice work. These are asthma, lead poisoning, and oral health. For more information, contact our office at 502-574-6616 or comment on social media about how you plan to use the report upon its release. 

Considering “Minority Health Month”

Each April the Department of Health and Human Services marks National Minority Health Month in an effort to bring continued attention to reducing health disparities and encouraging local and state health departments to advance efforts to work for health equity. National Minority Health Month originated as an observance of "National Negro Health Week" which was proposed by Dr. Booker T. Washington in April 1915. At the time he called for a “National Health Movement”—a movement we still need. While significant effort is needed to address long-standing health inequities in many communities, it is important for us to think about how we talk about communities and the people who live in them. 

‘Minority’ is a word many of us have stopped using—to refer to individuals or groups of people—in our efforts to advance equity; instead we use ‘person of color’, ‘people of color’, or ‘communities of color’. The word ‘minority’ is used to differentiate and identify people in relation to those who are identified to be part of the majority/dominant culture or those who hold significant social power. Our experience at CHE has helped us to understand how critical it is to this work to build equity into how we communicate about equity itself. We use ‘people of color’ because it is, as Race Forward writes, a “term of self-identification” and has a “history of building solidarity” in communities of color. Institutions and cultures that promote equity 1) identify people as owners and creators of their own power, and 2) recognize communities by the names they claim for themselves.

This “Minority Health Month” we highlight opportunities for advancing equity for many by advancing policies and practices which provide people with increased quality of life; how we communicate about these important issues is a great place to start!  

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Upcoming Events

Girls IdeaFestival® 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Bellarmine University, Frazier Hall

Inspired by the annual multi-disciplinary IdeaFestival® held each Fall in Louisville to foster creativity, innovation and transformative learning, Louisville Girls Leadership presents its fourth Girls IdeaFestival® targeting specifically high school girls, the adults in their lives and male allies. Keynote address by Center for Health Equity Director, Dr. Brandy Kelly Pryor. 

CHE HER coming soon