June | 2020


A Special Message from Health Equity Solutions

The civil and social unrest as a result of the many and senseless lives taken by police brutality are top of mind for HES. We see the acts of protestors, the calls of activists, and the words of people as hope for the change we want, need, and must see in the world. We stand with the people who cry out against racism in any and in every form! We are an agent of change, we encourage you to join us in this change! Be unafraid to call out injustice, be unafraid of the discomfort of change, and be encouraged that there are allies and friends in the struggle! #BlackLivesMatter #HealthEquity #EndRacism


Structural Racism: A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it has been a feature of the social, economic, and political systems in which we all exist.

Credit for Definition: The Aspen Institute


(LOB= Legislative Office Building)

The Connecticut General Assembly will likely convene for a special session in mid-July and focus on proposals to address police accountability and absentee voting for November’s election. It may include other policies related to racial injustice but at the time of this newsletter it is unclear if health equity related proposals will be on the agenda. A date has not been set yet.


Racial justice has risen to the forefront in U.S. media in recent weeks. There is momentum around policy solutions that have long been discussed by advocates and scholars. In Connecticut, HES is leading a campaign to demand that lawmakers intentionally embed racial justice in policy. Here’s how: 

Petition: Demand that CT policymakers intentionally address racism through policy. Sign here.

Resolutions: Windsor, CT passed a resolution declaring racism to be a public health crisis on June 15. Bloomfield, Hartford, West Hartford, and New Britain all passed similar resolutions this week. If you would like your local leaders to do the same, please email us and we will share sample language, share practices in doing this locally, and offer our support. 

What’s next: HES and local advocates who are working to pass these resolutions will share policy ideas and hold lawmakers accountable by raising applicable policies to dismantle systemic racism. 


Health Equity Solutions continues to promote centering equity in the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Our Community Assessment Survey is still available and we use the results to inform the policy recommendations we are offering at the state and local level. Please take the survey in EnglishSpanish, or French Creole. Results are posted here.


Across the nation conversations about how we engage with the construct of race and the realities of oppression and privilege in our country are growing louder.  

This month the HES team engaged in our own dialogue as we wrapped up the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. The challenge began by exploring the historical construction of race in America through readings such as How White People Got MadeThe second week focused on how racism results in disparities and how systems like immigration and mass incarceration serve as vehicles for racial oppression. For example, the racialized rhetoric of immigrants and criminals has been used as a rationale for persistent disinvestment in Black and Brown people. The final week’s materials centered on resources to support individual engagement with race, facilitate confrontation of personal biases, and promote authentic allyship.  

Dismantling racism is central to our work in advancing health equity across Connecticut. Join us on next month’s read: How to be an AntiRacist by Ibram x.Kendi. 


Health Equity Solutions
175 Main Street 3rd Floor | Hartford, Connecticut 06106
860.461.7637 | info@hesct.org

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