Listen, read, take in the news, look around every day and you will hear and see what it means to live in this country as a Black or Brown person. You will read about systemic oppressions, differential treatments, impacts of racism, being “othered” and lives lost too soon. Every day.

It was by looking and learning that The Colorado Trust changed its focus to achieving health equity, which, as we have since learned, can’t be accomplished without addressing root causes with solutions that directly benefit the people experiencing the most inequities in a community or place.

We launched three initiatives: the Health Equity Learning Series, Health Equity Advocacy and Community Partnerships.

The learning series is as much for us as it is for relating narrative and research about impacts of inequity, unequal power, and race.

The advocacy work is driven by a cohort of 18 diverse organizations that are working together to change policies and laws that maintain inequitable and oppressive systems.

Community Partnerships builds power to achieve health equity using a place-based and resident-driven approach. Teams of residents in communities across Colorado research and name the root causes and solutions they need funded.

Long-term funding goes directly to the resident team through a fiscal sponsor that we partner them with and also cover the fees.

In several of the communities, residents have uncovered lack of social cohesion, social disintegration, and loss of culture as core root causes of inequities.

They are also focused on systemic inequities where unequal practices and policies are generational: the local economy, housing, education, and environment, to name a few.

Read the full article about working toward health equity by Gwyn Barley at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.