Our Impact Areas

Our health departments and 200 community partners work together to create policies that protect health and increased economic opportunity. Because policy only improves our life when it's well implemented, we also provide training to government and community to help ensure policy and resources achieve our goals for health equity and shared economic prosperity. All of our work focuses on creating a more racially just and equitable world.

The 4 R's of COVID-19 Recovery

BARHII's Equitable Rolling Recovery Plan

The cost of this outbreak has been disproportionately borne by communities of color. Black and brown workers make up the majority of essential personnel, and are more likely to be locked into expensive, unstable housing thanks to exclusionary rental and lending practices. Unhoused Americans and imprisoned people, who are also disproportionately people of color, are likewise unable to self-quarantine, and are further deprived of access to sanitation, family, and resources as the rest of society shuts down.

Some have referred to COVID-19 as the great equalizer because viruses don’t discriminate. But while viruses don’t discriminate, people and policies can and do. In the few short months that COVID has disrupted our nation, more people have died from COVID than have died in the Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars; the S&P 500 plummeted from an all-time high; thousands of businesses have closed; and unemployment—particularly among low income workers—has skyrocketed to a level not seen since the Great Depression.

The cost of this outbreak has been disproportionately borne by communities of color. Black and brown workers make up the majority of essential personnel, and are more likely to be locked into expensive, unstable housing thanks to exclusionary rental and lending practices. This has left a significant percentage of the country unable to shelter in place, forced to continue working and risking infection and transmission lest their landlords evict them for missing rent. Unhoused Americans and imprisoned people, who are also disproportionately people of color, are likewise unable to self-quarantine, and are further deprived of access to sanitation, family, and resources as the rest of society shuts down.

This dare not become, and should not be, the future’s new normal. Now, more than ever, public health must rise together to leverage their present power to correct the injustices of the past, and create a future that is equitable and just. BARHII has put together a rolling recovery plan where response and recovery are occurring simultaneously. Our plan is designed to use early warning indicators from our core team, BARHII and Rise Together members, and real time data to adjust our recovery strategy. The impact areas below highlight pivot points of change in the recovery process we are anticipating to ensure needs responsiveness in the coming months. Equity needs to happen in the decision making process, not just the outcomes.

Require Basic Health Protections for Workers

COVID-19 represents a new threat to workers, and early data demonstrates that essential employees who worked during the shut down are facing higher rates of COVID-19. To protect workers and prevent spikes in disease, workers need more health protections while on the job and programs that ensure they can stay home when sick.

Reconnect Communities and Protect Mental Wellness

Staying at home has reminded us about what's really important. We miss our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends. Social isolation has been increasing for years, and so have the impacts of daily and chronic stress on mental health. Mental health surges are expected. Now is the time to create a community mental health system that works for all.

Rebuild Financial Stability for Families, Small Businesses, and Social Enterprises

The success of main street and of family financial stability is inextricably linked. Small businesses and families have been squeezed by high rent and living costs that have made it hard to get ahead and impossible to save -- even before COVID-19. We must rebuild main street and family finances to build wealth and survive the next disaster.

Revolutionize the Status Quo to Protect People of Color

We've shown the Bay Area can move quickly to protect health in a crisis. We also know that chronic stress related to economic and racial oppression, our housing and justice systems have had negative impacts on health and life expectancy that predate COVID-19. Now, African American, Pacific Islander, Native American, and Latinx communities are being hospitalized and dying at higher rates from COVID-19. It's time to treat the housing, homelessness, and mass incarceration system crises with the same urgency to reset decades of lost life that have been known to us for years.

Health Equity Impact Areas

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When families pay and spend a high proportion of their earnings on housing, they are often forced to reduce spending on food, medical care, and prescriptions. BARHII works toward making housing affordable for many different income families to improve health. This work includes supporting local efforts for affordable or supportive housing.

Learn more about our

Housing Displacement Brief

Learn more about our

Healthy Planning Guide

Learn more about our

Health Equity and Community Engagement Reports

Promote and expand pathways to fair and family friendly employment focused on the safe return/re-entry of those formerly incarcerated and other people facing critical barriers

Learn more about our

Fair Chance Workforce Project

The impact of education on health goes beyond what health behaviors are learned in the classroom. People with more education are more likely to live in safer neighborhoods where they have access to healthy foods, good schools, and green space for exercise. BARHII works with local health departments to promote strategies to address the educational achievement gap, and our ECE Regional Roundtable meets every other month to share information, align advocacy and learn from each other.  Contact us for more information

Learn more about our 

Educational Attainment and

Health Fact Sheets

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Public Health programs rely on the community's trust and has a requirement to protect the health of all residents. BARHII is working with local health departments and organizations to discuss impacts of proposed federal policies, learn about public agency responses, and build skills to ensure continued service to health equity communities.

Economic Opportunity and Inclusion

Poverty and housing instability create an environment of toxic stress that harms children and families. BARHII studies and provides information on the connection between health and economic inclusion.

Learn more about our

Minimum Wage and Health Report

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Climate change threatens the very systems on which human life depends - our water, food, shelter, and security. When it comes to transportation, people who ride public transit move more. BARHII works to incorporate principles of health equity into land use and transportation planning and actively focuses on adaption planning for the Bay Area.

Learn more about our

Climate Change Quick Guides

Learn more about our

North Bay Fire Recovery Brief

Systems Change and Reform

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Inequities based on class, race, and gender in the distribution of power and resources and in the priorities of institutional policies and practices define the ways in which social determinants of health contribute to health inequities. BARHII is committed to moving the momentum of public health toward a greater focus on social determinants of health and health inequities.

Learn more about our

Local Health Department Toolkit

Learn more about our

State Health Department Toolkit

Moving Money Upstream to Prevention

It's more expensive for both quality of life and for the healthcare system to be treating symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself. Moving our funds upstream toward prevention is a better investment for our future and for the health of all people.

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BARHII has several Communities of Practice hosted on a monthly basis and focused on different areas of the health equity field. From data collection and analysis to creating a legislative platform, these committee groups allow for experts and newcomers to collaborate on and learn about new public health topics. 

These committees are hosted monthly and are open to all.

Contact us with any questions

Emergent Programs and Learning Areas

Community Safety and Resilience

People thrive where they feel safe. BARHII works to promote policies that support an inclusive sense of community where everyone feels safe and shielded from crime, protected by law enforcement, and socially connected.

BARHII's Data Committee is looking carefully at community violence. Contact us to learn more.

Copyright © 2020 BARHII

Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)

555 12th St., 5th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607

510-210-8065

Info@BARHII.org