Advocates Across the State Push for Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund

During the past few weeks, community members throughout the state have led rallies calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to include $100 million in annual funding for a Health Equity and Racial Justice (HERJ) Fund in the 2022-2023 budget. The idea for the fund grew out of a collaborative effort with multiple community-based partners, including Public Health Institute. The Fund would provide grants to community-serving organizations, clinics and tribal organizations to address critical public health issues through a health equity and racial justice lens.

Community-based organizations, clinics and tribal organizations are on the front lines daily working closely with community members to address underlying causes and inequities fueling health challenges – such as the lack of access to healthy food, housing, or lack of access to parks and green spaces to be physically active, and so much more. Many times, these community groups are underfunded and not recognized for the critical role that they play in “public health.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, exacerbating existing health challenges and outcomes. The fund would help to reduce health inequities and address root causes such as racism.

Genoveva Islas speaking at HERJF rally in Sacramento
I dedicate my life and career to combating health inequities,” said Genoveva Islas, executive director of Cultiva la Salud. "We have had success, but our funding has been a challenge. Working grant to grant does not allow us to sustain activities and programs for community. We deserve better.
Two girls holding a sign in support of the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund

Act Now: Support the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund

In January 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom released his 2022-23 budget proposal. PHI and our co-sponsors were deeply disappointed that the proposed budget omitted dedicated funding for the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund, which had been supported earlier this year by the California Legislature. We’re still fighting for the Fund and the communities it would support. Find out how you can help.

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