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Racial Justice and Health Equity

Since 2000, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has committed to improvements in health for communities of color.

Boston’s residents are majority people of color, and Boston continues to be listed as one of the most racially segregated cities. There are persistent inequalities in health outcomes for Black and Latinx Bostonians compared to white Bostonians. This is true for many health indicators, including:

  • birth outcomes
  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • and other chronic conditions 

This racial segregation results in large differences in health outcomes by zip code.


Racial Justice and Health Equity Framework

BPHC’s health equity framework shows how racism and other systems of oppression have an independent influence on all social determinants of health. It also shows how these systems of oppression have a direct impact on health outcomes.

BPHC seeks to address the factors that shape our individual and collective health. We seek to provide all residents with fair access to conditions that promote the best possible health.


BPHC Health Equity Framework


BPHC has been committed to racial justice and health equity in Boston since 2000.

Moving Equity Forward Together

  • BPHC, community activists, public health officials, scholars, and other form the REACH Boston 2010 Breast and Cervical Cancer Coalition. The coalition addresses the unequal rates of breast and cervical cancer deaths for Black women.
  • BPHC's Anti-Racism Internal Working Group is formed following a BPHC-wide "Undoing Racism" Training. The Anti-Racism Advisory Committee (ARAC) is formally established in 2008. Today, ARAC, a volunteer group of BPHC employees, advises and makes recommendations that address systemic and structural racism within the BPHC and externally. Read: Mayor's Task Force Blueprint, Disparities Project Data, and the Hospital Working Group Report
  • BPHC Professional Development Series is created. The series help staff apply the principles and practices of health equity and racial justice in their work.​
  • The Racial Justice and Health Equity Initiative, an organizational change model, is created. Since then, the initiative has evolved into a strategic priority for BPHC.​
  • The Office of Health Equity (OHE) relaunches. This includes our organizational approach to community engagement
  • The Health Equity in All Policies Initiative is established.​

Tools and Resources

Tools and Resources
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