health equity, public health, Social Justice

Building the Case for Health Equity

Principle of Health Disparities and Health EquityThe great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his Letter from Birmingham Jail said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…whatever affects all directly affects all indirectly.” Though Dr. King was referring to the injustices of the 1960s Civil Rights Era, those same injustices are alive and present today. Police brutality and the unjust treatment of black and brown women and men in our court and prison industrial complex systems still run rampant. Yet we’ve come a long way and have even further (much further) to go in our quest for equality.

Though strides have been made since the Civil Rights Era, injustice, inequity and inequality are still very well embedded in America’s institutional and social fabric. These injustices have directly led to and continue to lead to poor health outcomes of some of our most vulnerable populations.  As the current administration seeks to make “America Great Again” (insert side-eye) and prohibit the CDC from using the following words: “vulnerable,” “entitlement”, “diversity”, “transgender,” ”fetus”, “evidenced-based” and “science-based” in the 2018 budget; I cannot help but pause to ask myself, “What’s really good?”

In my moment of pause, I found it important to write about (possibly a series of blog posts) on the topic of health disparities and inequities, specifically focused on the eight principles of health disparities and health inequity as described by Braveman et al. (2011).  But before moving into these eight principles lets go into a brief overview of health disparity, health inequities and distributive justice. Continue reading