Anti-Racism Consortium

A partnernship with IHJE. Support for the Consortium received from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Project Overview

The Institute for Healing Justice & Equity (the Institute or IHJE) aims to eliminate disparities caused by systemic oppression and to improve individual and community health and well-being through systems change and deep community partnership. IHJE not only has a long-standing commitment to equity and content expertise in anti-racist theory and the impact of racism, but also is dedicated to systems change that leads to effective equity initiatives and ethical community engagement.

IHJE received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)to lead a process for planning two grant programs, Building a Vision for Anti-Racist Health Policy (VFAR) and Illuminating and Addressing the Healthcare System’s Role in Perpetuating Structural Racism (ISR). The grant has been led by Principal Investigator Ruqaiijah Yearby (The Ohio State University/IHJE) and Co-Principal Investigators Amber Johnson, Kira Banks and Keon Gilbert(Saint Louis University/IHJE).

Funding Programs

IHJE’s principal objective has been to help RWJF reimagine their grant objectives, processes, and procedures for two interrelated funding programs:

Building a Vision for Anti-Racist Health Policy (VFAR)

VFAR seeks to outline the historical roots of specific structures in the health care system — including policies and institutional practices — that have resulted in and perpetuate racism, oppression, and a culture of white supremacy, with the aim of (1) raising awareness and highlighting mechanisms for addressing those issues and (2) identifying ways to build accountability for addressing structural racism in health care.

Illuminating and Addressing the Health Care System's Role in Perpetuating Systemic Racism (ISR)

ISR aims to raise awareness and highlight the mechanisms for addressing structural racism in the healthcare system as well as identify the ways to build accountability for addressing structural racism in the healthcare system — including policies and institutional practices — that have resulted in and perpetuate racism, oppression, and a culture of white supremacy, with the aim of (1) raising awareness and highlighting mechanisms for addressing those issues and (2) identifying ways to build accountability for addressing structural racism in health care.

Phase I: Formation of the Anti-Racism Consortium

The IHJE team (Yearby, Johnson, Banks, and Gilbert) created a collaborative process that included partnering with community partners (Dr. Michael Muhammad, Debbie Chase and Crystal Lewis) and establishing an Anti-Racism Consortium of national and local experts in the areas of structural racism in health care and anti-racism health policyIn collaboration with IHJE, the Anti-Racism Consortium assessed the potential landscape of grantees, created a framework for how these programs would enhance each other, and advised on specific program activities, outputs, and processes.

Project Team

Ruqaiijah Yearby, Principal Investigator

Amber Johnson, Investigator

Keon Gilbert, Investigator

Kira Banks, Investigator

Michael Muhammad, Facilitator

Crystal Lewis, Policy Analyst

Debbie Chase, Program Manager

Members

Each consortium member represents a different geographic region, sector, and expertise area.  The individuals and community-based organizations involved in Phase I of the work include:

Amani Allen, UC Berkeley Public Health, Academic Institution – Epidemiologist who focuses on racial and socioeconomic health disparities and the measurement and study of racism as a social determinant of health.

Johnnie (Chip) Allen, Health Equity Data Consultant, Program Development Consultant and Professional and former Director of Health Equity for the Ohio Department of Health.

Rhonda Belue, University of Texas San Antonio, Academic Institution that primarily serves Latinos – Policy Analysis and Management researcher who focuses on the study of health inequities and data.

Melody Goodman, New York University School of Global Public Health, Academic Institution – Biostatistician who focuses on the development of solutions for improving health in minority and medically underserved communities.

Faybra Hemphill, David Dwight, Karishma Furtado, Forward Through Ferguson – a local community-based organization focused on racial equity.

Pat Matthews Juarez, Meharry Medical College, Historically Black University – extensive experience in medical education, research training, administration and management.

Paul Juarez, Meharry Medical College, Historically Black University – extensive experience in personal, lifestyle, and environmental factors associated with progression to T2DM among women with a history of gestational diabetes.

Brian Smedley, Urban Institute, national thought leader in the field of health equity, co-founder and executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity, co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leadership National Program Center.

Amanda Stoermer, Integrated Health Network, Anchor institution for the health care safety net in St. Louis city and County.

Kari Thatcher, Kristin Black, Crystal Dixon, Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative, Grass roots organization dedicated to empowering and facilitating communities in defining and resolving issues related to disparities in health.

Natasha Chabria, Pilar Whitaker, Katy Youker, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Legal services organization that has a rich and dynamic history of service, seeking to secure for all the rights that are the ideals on which our country was founded, including economic justice.

Accomplishments

The Consortium met bi-weekly for nine months working collaboratively to accomplish the following:

  • Developed definitions and glossary of key terms, identified guiding principles and frameworks, and clarified the goals and expected outcomes for the two grant programs;
  • Created draft grant calls for VFAR and ISR, which were submitted to RWJF;
  • Developed a map that outlines the theory of change of the two grant programs and shows the relationship between VFAR and ISR; and
  • Outlined key attributes of a successful grantee and drafted solicitation questions to identify potential lead organizations for VFAR and ISR.

Phase II: Consortium Work

For Phase II of the consortium’s work, we are expanding the group to include more community-based members starting in January, 2023. Members who were involved during Phase I will also be recording podcasts during December, 2022 that describe their work and perspectives related to anti-racist health policy and research on structural racism in the healthcare system.

These interviews will include a consortium member and a community partner. The Institute decided to produce these as podcasts so that they can be widely accessed and available to RWJF, the new grantees when they are awarded, and to the wider public. IHJE is responsible for facilitating and producing these podcasts.

RWJF is expected to award the VFAR and ISR grants in second quarter 2023. The consortium will be asked to review the final application of the lead organizations and to provide support for the lead grantees as they begin their work.

Project Team

Ruqaiijah Yearby, Co-Principal Investigator

Amber Johnson, Co-Principal Investigator

Keon Gilbert, Investigator

Kira BanksInvestigator

Debbie Chase, Program Manager

Michael Muhammad, Community Engagement Consultant

KJ Schaeffner, Media Production Manager

Lydia Bullock, Logistics Manager

Dragonfly, Facilitator

Members

Each consortium member represents a different geographic region, sector, and expertise area.  The individuals and community-based organizations involved in Phase II of the work include:

Amani Allen, UC Berkeley Public Health, Academic Institution – epidemiologist who focuses on racial and socioeconomic health disparities and the measurement and study of racism as a social determinant of health.

Johnnie (Chip) Allen, Health Equity Data Consultant, Program Development Consultant and Professional and former Director of Health Equity for the Ohio Department of Health.

Rhonda Belue, University of Texas San Antonio, Academic Institution – Policy Analysis and Management Researcher who focuses on the study of health inequities and data at an institution that primarily serves Latinos.

Reverend Dr. Charles Boyer, Salvation and Social Justice, community and faith-based organization that focuses on public policy and liberation.

Melody Goodman, New York University School of Global Public Health (academic institution) – biostatistician who focuses on the development of solutions for improving health in minority and medically underserved communities.

Maria Gutierrez, Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, health justice non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Asian and Pacific Islanders.

Faybra Hemphill, Forward Through Ferguson, director of racial equity at a local community-based organization.

Pat Matthews Juarez, Meharry Medical College, Historically Black University – extensive experience in medical education, research training, administration and management.

Paul Juarez, Meharry Medical College, Historically Black University – extensive experience in personal, lifestyle, and environmental factors associated with progression to T2DM among women with a history of gestational diabetes.

Xavier Morales, The Praxis Project, a national non-profit organization that works in partnership with national, regional, state, and local partners to achieve health equity and justice for all communities. 

Brian Smedley, Urban Institute, national thought leader in the field of health equity, co-founder and executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity, co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leadership National Program Center.

Denise Smith, National Association of Community Health Workers, a non-profit group whose mission is to unify the voices of community health workers and strengthen the profession’s capacity to promote healthy communities.

Amanda Stoermer, Integrated Health Network – anchor institution for the health care safety net in St. Louis City and County.

Kari Thatcher, Kristin Black, Crystal Dixon, Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative, Grass roots organization dedicated to empowering and facilitating communities in defining and resolving issues related to disparities in health.

Katy Youker, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Legal services organization that has a rich and dynamic history of service, seeking to secure for all the rights that are the ideals on which our country was founded, including economic justice.