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What is Equity Centered Policy?


Policies and laws that are created in consideration of quality evidence and the lived experience of the communities most impacted by the issues they aim to address. Equity-centered policies require the engagement and consideration of communities, especially intersectional groups representing multiple marginalized experiences, during all aspects of the policy or lawmaking process: from research, policy identification, drafting language, advocacy, and engagement with decision makers; to even after the policy is passed, as it is being implemented and enforced. Ensuring the consideration and involvement of people most affected in policymaking process, discussion, and development helps to identify intentional and unintentional consequences to those at greatest risk based on social conditions. I.e. Nothing for us without us.


Our mission.

The mission of the Equity-Centered Policies unit is to build on The Center’s capacity and ability to identify, develop, and discuss what it means to center equity in existing and new policy work.


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Our goals.

We work to advance health justice by building community capacity, supporting the creation and growth of infrastructure, and developing and promoting equity-centered policy.

We believe investing in communities, providing high quality service, and developing genuine and trusted connections are key components of advancing health equity.


What’s public policy's role in equity?

Public policy is more than voting or not voting every 4 years. Voter turnout is highest for presidential elections but generally lower for mid-year elections. Yet, decisions by local legislators have a major impact on our daily lives.

What’s the impact?

Public policies and decisions made at the city, municipal, state and federal levels can and do make a difference in terms of:

● Affordable housing

● Accessible healthcare

● Quality schools

● Adequate transportation options

● Recreation spaces and parks

● Programs such as senior or youth centers that support quality of public health


Policies also can impact whether there is public transportation or food stores to help seniors and families access healthy food. Federal and state policy impacts access to economic growth opportunities for Black owned businesses and expansion of public programs such as Medicaid that make healthcare more affordable for thousands of people. It’s true and often decisions made by elected offi cials regarding funding priorities are the essential cause of limited access and services.


A wise advocate once said, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!”