How Community Organizing Promotes Health Equity And How Health Equity Affects Organizing
Author: Manuel Pastor, Veronica Terriquez, May Lin
Public health scholarship increasingly recognizes community organizing as a vehicle for unleashing the collective power necessary to uproot socioeconomic inequities at the core of health disparities. In this article we reverse the analytical focus from how organizing can affect health equity, and we consider how the frame of health equity has shaped grassroots organizing. Using evidence from a range of cases in California, we suggest that the health equity frame can guide and justify grassroots groups’ efforts to improve the health outcomes of marginalized populations; connect issues such as housing and school discipline to health; and provide a rationale for community organizing groups to directly address the trauma experienced by their own members and staff, who often come from communities at risk for poor health outcomes.