PHI Statement on Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
The Public Health Institute’s mission is to advance well-being and health equity with communities around the world. Our commitment to health equity compels us to acknowledge the systemic disparities across societies and ensure every aspect of our work challenges them. To achieve health equity and address these systemic inequities, we must embrace and champion racial equity, diversity and inclusion, or REDI, as a core component of our mission.
REDI is neither an abstract concept nor a symbolic goal. It must be embedded throughout our policies and processes, operations, programs, and work with and in communities. PHI is committed to transforming our decision-making processes, systems, and organizational culture more broadly. We are engaging in this process by dedicating time, resources, and infrastructure to make the work possible, which includes establishing a REDI department and a three-year action plan to implement the structural changes and policies that will help operationalize this effort. We believe REDI is a shared responsibility that cannot be successful without engagement by employees, leaders, and stakeholders at every level.
Our work is guided by the following core principles, values and actions:
We Value Diversity
Our focus on racial equity is not to the exclusion of other aspects of identity where people experience marginalization, discrimination, or inequity. We understand that by explicitly including racial equity as the foundation of our approach, we access and call into our resources many of the frameworks and tools that are effective to confront longstanding patterns of inequity and injustice as they manifest in contemporary forms. We believe that every individual is unique, and groups of individuals reflect multiple dimensions of difference. These differences can range from visible dimensions like race, ethnicity, and gender expression to less visible dimensions like gender identity, class, sexual orientation, age, disabilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, neurodivergence, and many more. Valuing diversity means embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of difference that exist in groups.¹
We Engage Equity Principles & Practices
We believe that all people should have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to improve the quality of their lives and that race, class, and other dimensions of identity should not be determinants or predictors of a group’s ability to access to those resources, opportunities, and improved life outcomes. The work of equity invites us to engage targeted and differentiated principles, tools, and strategies that reduce gaps in opportunities and resources and eliminate disparities as experienced by specific groups. The nature of our work encourages us to understand and pursue research and programs that address the social determinants of health and any other factors that impact population health.²
We Create & Nurture Spaces of Inclusion
Creating space for PHI’s deep diversity to thrive means nurturing inclusion as the driving value and practice to ensure that people feel they belong and that their inputs are valued by the whole (e.g., group, organization, society, or system), particularly regarding decisions that affect their lives within and beyond the organization³. We are committed to creating systems and an environment where our behaviors, actions, and decisions reflect and promote inclusion in its deepest forms.
Our Approach is Intersectional
Our approach to equity and inclusion is intersectional. We recognize the compound and complex identities that make up our workforce and our communities. We engage an approach that acknowledges this broad spectrum of human diversity and the complex realities that it brings. Explicitly engaging an intersectional racial equity lens honors the deeply entrenched and historical aspects of racism as a structural issue, and provides a framework for identifying and addressing inequity at all intersections of human identity including, but not limited to, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, and religious affiliation.
Our Approach is Transparent
We commit to carrying out our REDI efforts with full transparency of process. We believe that tracking our progress honors the integrity of our work and also provides a foundation for ongoing accountability.
Our Progress Requires Unity & Collective Action
Our REDI work unites all the entire PHI system including PHI Board, Executive Leadership, and PHI Central and Programs staff under a common vision with leadership, resources and clear action items that engage all facets of the organization. This plan requires the collective strength of every person in order to achieve institutional and structural change.
- Adapted from Diversity Initiatives Campaign, The Diversity Project.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Social Determinants of Health. https://health.gov/healthypeople/priority-areas/socialdeterminants-health
- Adapted from Equity and Inclusion Campaign.