By Megan Gaydos, Ana Tellez, and Raina Wellman

Image of person’s hands cutting a slice of strawberry pie. The slice is labelled “community power-building” and the pie itself is labelled “health equity.”
Image of person’s hands cutting a slice of strawberry pie. The slice is labelled “community power-building” and the pie itself is labelled “health equity.”
Community power-building is a big slice of the pie when it comes to health equity work / Image by Raina Wellman

Today we’re revisiting one of our Health Equity Tips to uplift how meaningful community engagement as a strategy to build community power is a big slice of the pie when it comes to health equity work.

Health departments: it’s time to establish community engagement guidelines with an explicit goal of power sharing.


By Sari Bilick and Amber Akemi Piatt

Community members at a protest in Oakland, CA. Photo by @ryansincamera

While the federal tax deadline has been moved to May 17th this year, we still feel called to mark April 15th with reflections on how critical our tax structure is to building a healthy society. As we continue to protect each other through the COVID-19 pandemic and get to know the new federal administration, we have the opportunity to make long-overdue structural changes to improve community health, address historical and ongoing oppression, and promote equitable COVID-19 recovery.

Our taxes can be an important component in that effort: by pooling our resources together for…


By Solange Gould

To enact the structural and policy changes to realize our radical vision for public health, we need to get really clear on what public health is, does, and can do.

After nearly a year of the global pandemic, we are in need of a new vision and narrative for the purpose, power, and strategies of public health.

In 2020, public health became a catchphrase in popular discourse. In news media surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the uprisings against policing and in defense of Black lives, the term was often deployed to spotlight how various systemic crises cause harm and violence. We rightly asserted that “Racism is a public health crisis” and demanded that our decision-makers “Defund the police, invest in health”.

This was an important first step in shifting the narrative. Events of the past year catalyzed a growing recognition that nearly every aspect of our lives intersects with public health— and…


By Lili Farhang

By centering the heart we open up new ways of being together — and new, more powerful strategies to build racial justice.

We lead with our humanity and the centrality of our relationships, making space to acknowledge how our bodies and hearts feel. We seek to build a sense of belonging and heal from the traumas of living in systems of advantage and oppression.

— on Centering the Heart, from HIP’s Strategic Plan

A commitment to equity and racial justice requires a capacity and willingness to feel the depth of the work we are doing. We don’t mean this in an intellectual sense, but in an embodied sense. …


By Solange Gould, Sophia Simon-Ortiz, and Shannon Tracey

Let’s use this election to shift ​who​ holds power, ​how​ power is held, and what​ collective power looks like, to advance health equity.

This election, we have the power to transform the terrain upon which the health of our communities depends. To cultivate collective health, we can use the power of our votes to overhaul and transform existing systems of oppression.

We’re all feeling the high stakes, heartache, and anxiety of this election. The decades-long attack on our public sector infrastructure has limited our ability to respond to COVID-19, and has left…


By Solange Gould

Image of earth with plants on a protest sign which reads “Climate Justice is Public Health Work.” On the sides of images are other protest signs and signage depicting the recycle logo, a heart, and a scale.
Image of earth with plants on a protest sign which reads “Climate Justice is Public Health Work.” On the sides of images are other protest signs and signage depicting the recycle logo, a heart, and a scale.
Illustration by Raina Wellman

This summer many of us are deeply feeling the health impacts of the climate crisis — from the hundreds of deaths due to extreme heat, to breathing unsafe air from forest fires, to the “eco-anxiety”, depression, and other mental health impacts of this existential threat. In just a few months of summer, we have already lived through hurricanes, tornados, mudslides, wildfires, heat waves, severe drought, and flooding.

Climate change is affecting all of us, but those who face health inequities are experiencing the worst impacts. This is because climate injustice and health inequities share the same root…


By Martha Ockenfels-Martinez

Photo of four people wearing masks standing at voting booths
Photo of four people wearing masks standing at voting booths
Access and support for full voter engagement is key for our collective health.

As of March 24th of this year, 361 bills have been introduced in state legislatures around the country that would restrict voting. The bills range in methods, yet the consequences would be the same: voting rights destroyed and widespread voter disenfranchisement. Thankfully, communities, voting rights advocates, and elected officials are working on passing two federal bills, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to ensure the people’s right to vote. So what does this have to do with public health?

Voting creates the conditions for our health

Voting matters for our collective health. The representatives we vote into…


With 2020 behind us, and a long road to health equity ahead, HIP staff reflect on a few of the things that moved us and got us through last year.

By Human Impact Partners Staff

We weren’t sorry to say farewell to 2020. But we are thankful for the many messages and beacons of hope that guided us through.

Shortly before the New Year, HIP staff gathered together (virtually) to reflect on the year coming to a close, to appreciate one another for the our mutual care, love, and work, and to set our intentions for advancing health equity in the time ahead. As part of that reflection, we each shared some of the things that inspired, moved, and got us through 2020.

This…


By Christine Mitchell, Lien Pham, and Narissa Pham

Tien Pham (second from left) with his family, at his high school graduation in Santa Clara Juvenile Hall

On August 31st, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom transferred Tien Pham from San Quentin State Prison in California to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at a detention center in Colorado. Tien is a Vietnamese refugee who was charged as an adult at the age of 17, and was recently found suitable for parole after 2 decades of incarceration. But because of direct ICE transfers — a practice where jails and prisons transfer people directly to ICE custody for detention and deportation upon release — he is now separated from his family…


By Christine Mitchell, Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, Jamie Sarfeh, & Sophia Simon-Ortiz

Cuts and slow downs at USPS threaten public health

Over the past month, much of the news surrounding service slow downs and impending budget cuts at the United States Postal Service (USPS) has focused on the threats posed to voting in the upcoming November elections. Voter disenfranchisement is a real and urgent concern, as so many will depend on mail-in ballots to safely cast their votes this year amidst the ongoing pandemic. …

Human Impact Partners

Bringing the power of public health to campaigns and movements for a just society

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