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About the Course

The Roots of Health Inequity is an online learning collaborative. The site offers a starting place for those who want to address systemic differences in health and wellness that are, actionable, unfair, and unjust. As a participant in the learning collaborative you will have a chance to explore concepts and strategies by working through five critical questions:

(1) Where Do We Start?

Explore the relationship among changing the culture of our organizations, engaging community members, and negotiating with political pressures strategically (UNIT 1: Where Do We Start?).

(2) What Are "Frames" and How Do They Influence Public Health Practice?

Consider how "mental models" or "frames" influence public health work. Discuss how values, assumptions, and interests affect the capacity for addressing health inequities (UNIT 2: Perspectives on Framing).

(3) What Can History Teach Us about the Role of Public Health and Public Health Practitioners?

Explore the transformation of public health during the last 150 years, including the forces that advanced or limited the field (UNIT 3: Public Health History).

(4) What Are the Root Causes of Health Inequities?

Examine the importance of class structure, racism, and gender inequity in the development of health inequities (Unit 4: Root Causes).

(5) What Are the Principles of Social Justice?

Explore the principles of social justice and ways to influence the institutions and agencies that generate health inequity. (Unit 5: Social Justice).

Download an Index of Course Content by Unit (PDF)

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As part of the Learning Collaborative, participants are expected to bring their own knowledge, experiences, and insights to the table and work with their group members to build new knowledge.

What You Can Expect from This Learning Collaborative

Expect a rich source of case studies, readings, and presentations.

Explore interactive maps and timelines, geographic story-telling, resource libraries, video presentations, and "Voices from the Field" -interviews with practitioners with different perspectives on public health.

Expect to work as part of a group.

The course material is designed around group participation and you are asked to choose a small group of team members to form a group. Even if you choose to sign up on your own, you will end up sharing and strategizing with others in the General Group.

Expect group-directed learning.

Your group is free to explore the material or participate in the discussions you find most interesting.

Expect concepts and new terminology instead of a "how-to" guide.

As a national organization representing local public health officials, NACCHO offers a national perspective on the roots of health inequities. NACCHO recognizes that local public health practitioners bring a wealth of experience to this learning collaborative, and that health practitioners, working locally, can help each other explain and clarify the trends we see at the national level.

Expect to learn and contribute, even if you are familiar with the core concepts.

Your group members may differ in experience, roles, background, expertise, and job titles. However, all group members can benefit from your experiences with-and memories of-the activities and themes introduced throughout the learning collaborative. Because this site offers an opportunity for collaborative learning, feel free to use your experience to build on these concepts and balance your past experiences with new approaches and material. Each group member is responsible for helping other group members and building the knowledge and resources available to the group.

Screenshot of course overview

Each unit begins with an overview page that provide an introduction, goals, highlights and an index to unit content. Sample Overview Page »

Screenshot of course interactives and presentations

Concepts are introduced with text, video, slideshows and interactive presentations. Sample Presentation »

Screenshot of voices from the field pages

Listen to professionals talk about their area of expertise in "Voices from the Field." Sample "Voices" Page »

Screenshot of course resources

Every unit has a listing of "Resources" for further exploration of that topic. Sample "Resources" Page »

Screenshot of course comments and discussions

Group members can have private discussions about the topics and presentations. Sample Discussion »