Public Health Advocates brings a public health lens to the pressing issues of our day, working with communities to challenge the social, political, and economic systems perpetuating racial, economic, and health disparities.
All Children Thrive – California (ACT-CA)
Today’s urgent and costly health and social problems—homelessness, violence, addiction, depression, and chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes—are often rooted in childhood trauma and toxic stress. All Children Thrive is an equity-focused, city-based, community-driven initiative to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and foster individual and community healing and resilience. The campaign, a partnership with UCLA, is funded by the State of California.
Building Healthy Communities (BHC – Boyle Heights)
Where you live shouldn’t determine how long you live—yet it often does. As part of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative to transform communities devastated by health inequities, Public Health Advocates helps students and parents in Boyle Heights (Los Angeles County) advocate for clean water, a comprehensive wellness center, and restorative justice at Roosevelt High School. These efforts have led to important districtwide school policy change.
Despite legal protections, transgender Californians experience some of the most extreme health and mental health disparities. Through California TRANScends, Public Health Advocates is helping to enhance the capacity of established and emerging transgender-led community organizations to win and sustain state and local policies promoting transgender health equity in California. The Campaign is funded by The California Endowment.
California COVID Justice: Recovery, Response & Repair
California COVID Justice: Recovery, Response & Repair is a statewide campaign that brings an equity lens to ensure that there are local, state, and federal protections and interventions to mitigate COVID’s impact on historically underinvested communities. With guidance from a steering committee of community partners, PHAdvocates will develop and implement targeted equity-focused regional and statewide strategies to advocate for needed policies, programs, and resources. This campaign is funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation and California Health Care Foundation.
Faces of Resilience
Racism and other forms of structural oppression have a direct impact on individual and community wellbeing. Through our Stockton Faces of Resilience project supported by the Sierra Health Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, Public Health Advocates is training youth organizers to advocate for school district policies that prohibit racial discrimination, expand restorative justice practices, and promote mental health.
First Response Transformation Campaign
The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and reckonings with police violence and racism has created an opportunity to rethink our most fundamental systems and structures, particularly our systems for emergency first response. Through our First Response Transformation Campaign, PHAdvocates will help California cities reimagine public safety. The goal of the initiative is to focus on prevention by championing systemic changes to make emergency response systems more responsive to community needs, less costly, and less racially biased, and to build a groundswell of support for similar changes throughout the state. This program is funded by the CARESTAR Foundation.
Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities Campaign
Cities play a vital role in the health of their communities. For more than a decade, Public Health Advocates has partnered with the League of California Cities to harness the power of local government to advance health equity by promoting healthy eating and physical activity. With financial support from Kaiser Permanente and others, we have helped more than 200 cities establish over 700 health-promoting local policies.
Healthy Retail Campaign
Through funding from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, PHAdvocates is developing a Healthy Retail Campaign and working in three cities (Fresno, Perris and Stockton) throughout California to help city leaders and community stakeholders adopt healthy retail policies to address the burden of diabetes and obesity on underinvested communities and communities of color.
My Brother’s Keeper
My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento (MBK Sacramento) is administered by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation and was formed from President Obama’s initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color. As part of MBK Sacramento, Public Health Advocates heads up the “healthy development” pillar to help boys and young men of color find solutions to violence and trauma, starting by expanding awareness, knowledge and advocacy for new and much needed mental health services and supports. This program is funded by the Division of Behavioral Health Services through the voter approved Proposition 63, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).
Park Equity Campaign
Public parks support physical and emotional health, promote social cohesion, bolster local economies, and make neighborhoods more attractive places to live, work, and play. Funded by The California Endowment, the California Wellness Foundation, and the Gilbert Foundation, Public Health Advocates is partnering with KDI to help low-income cities to get California Prop 68 park bond grants so they can build new parks or expand/renovate existing ones in impoverished, park-poor neighborhoods.
Together with like-minded partners, Public Health Advocates sponsors and supports legislation that fosters health equity, promotes social justice, and expands opportunity for communities facing the greatest barriers to wellbeing. Our current statewide California efforts focus on restorative justice and criminal justice reform, food access, diabetes and sugary drinks, homelessness, marijuana equity, and childhood trauma. Our lobbying efforts are funded through donations of unrestricted funds.
Public Health Advocates partners with top academic institutions to conduct epidemiological research and develop compelling data-based descriptions of the health and social problems we are addressing. We commonly describe findings by city, county, and legislative district to make them as meaningful as possible to policy makers and the media.
Within Our REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is helping selected underserved communities across the country to identify and promote Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH). Our CDC-funded REACH project partners with African American churches and community based organizations in Stockton to increase opportunities for physical activity, expand access to healthy food and beverages, and prevent and address childhood trauma.