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We’ve pulled together useful tools and resources that will help you understand the issue as you plan your organizing and policy advocacy work. Bookmark this page so you won't miss any updates!

2011 Webinar Series Archive Policy Briefs
School Initiatives
News Articles
Case Studies
Additional Online Resources 

2012 Webinar Series Archive

You Can’t Get There from Here: Accessible Transportation and its Impact on Community Health                                                                                                       Cities like Boston and San Francisco are facing on-going rate hikes that threaten to make public transportation unaffordable for the citizens who need it most. At the same time, many cities and towns are fighting just to get public transportation. Additionally, Congress is considering legislation that would remove 30 years of dedicated funding to public transportation. Over and over again, we are seeing policies that are taking the “public” out of public transportation.

Presenters: Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), Boston, MA; People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), San Francisco, CA

Resource: Webinar Resource Guide

Food Sovereignty in Indian Country: Vision, Practices and Policy

With diabetes and heart disease being a leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaskan Native people, there is a growing movement to reclaim and restore our wellness and cultural awareness. Native-led projects from Communities Creating Healthy Environments will share their inter-generational approaches to food sovereignty with models that reflect traditional living in contemporary society.

Presenters: Representatives from the CCHE Indian Country Team: Rocky Boy Healthy Board, Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative, Indigenous Environmental Network

Resource:Alternative Strategies: Rocky Boy Health Board

Vibrant Communities

What makes a vibrant community? This question is so basic that it rarely gets asked, but the answers can provide profound ideas about creating just and equitable places to live, learn, work, and play. Vibrant communities require thriving local businesses, affordable housing, quality education, access to health care, and many other conditions, but achieving these in an equitable way is a challenge.

Presenters: Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), San Francisco, CA; Monica Adams, Co-Director, of Freedom Inc., Madison, WI; Susan Williams, Education Team Coordinator, of the Highlander Research and Education Center,  New Market, TN

Taking On School Lunch: Students and Parents Build Power Fighting for a Healthy Food Environment
From pizza to vending machines, school lunch has long been more about special interests and lobbying power than about what young people need to learn and grow. Add to this the complexities of schools trying to jam as many students into as short a lunch period as possible, and you have a school food environment that meets the needs of institutions rather than students.

Presenters: Gloria Medina, Training and Policy Education Coordinator, of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), Los Angeles, CA, Monica Acosta, Organizer, of Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, Denver, CO; InnerCity Struggle (ICS), Los Angeles, CA

Safe Space
Safe Space is essential to community formations.  Existing policies tend to focus on surveillance and restricting people’s access to their own neighborhoods, function to define what “safety” means, and use law enforcement as a vehicle to enforce this “safety”.

Presenters: Kenny Bailey, Sector Organizing and Strategy Lead, of Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI), Boston, MA Ms. Yvette Thierry, Executive Director, of Safe Streets, New Orleans, LA, Kusema Thomas, Organizer, of  Community Coalition (CoCo),  Los Angeles, CA

2011 Webinar Series Archive

The Farm Bill and Communities of Color Webinar Archive

Target Marketing of Junk Foods to Communities of Color Webinar Archive

Transportation Justice Webinar Archive

Policy & Framing Briefs

Communities Can Play a Role in Preventing Childhood Obesity, Institute of Medicine, September 2004

Designed for Disease: The Link Between Local Food Environments and Obesity and Diabetes, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, PolicyLink, and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, April 2008

Food Marketers Greenwash Junk Food: Companies Tout Link to Health and Environmental Movements, Berkeley Media Studies Group, March 2008

Health Equity "Treatment" for the Root causes of Obesity by Jeff Goldhagen, MD, MPH Northeast Florida Medicine, Vol. 58, 2007

Searching for Healthy Food, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, January 2007

Low-Income Adolescents Face More Barriers to Healthy Weight by Theresa A. Hastert, Susan H. Babey, Allison L. Diamant and E. Richard Brown, December 2008


Achieving Health Equity: From Root Causes to Fair Outcomes,The World Health Organization, 2007

Ounces of Prevention: The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages,The New England Journal of Medicine, April 2009

A Cross-Sectional Prevalence Study of Ethnically Targeted and General Audience Outdoor Obesity-Related Advertising,The Milbank Quarterly, March 2009

Closing The Gap: Solutions to Race-Based Health Disparities, Applied Research Center & Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, Summer 2005

2007 Report The Foundation for Child Development Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI) 1975-2005, with Projections for 2006,a composite index of trends in the well-being of America’s children and youth, Foundation for Child Development, April 2007

The Neglected Link Between Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity in Poor Neighborhoods, Population Reference Bureau July 2006

Building Healthy Communities: Expanding Access to Fresh Food Retail, New Orleans Food Advisory Committee 2007

New Study Finds Overweight Linked to Poor Community Environment EurekAlert!, Saint Louis University

Strategies for Enhancing the Built Environment to Support Healthy Eating and Active Living focuses on opportunities to support healthy eating and active living through issues related to the built environment and emphasizes cross-sectoral and environmental change approaches, Convergence Partnership, prepared by the Prevention Institute, 2008

School Initiatives

Innovative Charter School in Chicago Shares Its Secrets of Success in Fighting Childhood Obesity,, February 2007

Fighting for Fitness: Educational Institutions Step into the Ring by Evantheia Schibsted,, December 2, 2005

News Articles

Concern over Safety Soaring in Hub Area The Boston Globe, November 13, 2008

Bill Moyers and author Michael Pollan on The Journal (Video),via PBS , November 2008

Food Fight: Sparring Over School Snacks Sternstein, Aliya Congressional Quarterly Weekly – In Focus, September 15, 2008

Council bans new fast-food outlets in South LA Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2008

It's Not Just Genetics TIME, June 12, 2008

Young Lives at Risk: Our Overweight Children, a 5-part Washington Post Series, May 2008

Obesity and Poverty Temper Progress in Kids’ Well-Being The Washington Post March 30, 2005

Case Studies

Progressive Policies Database Collection, an annotated and multidisciplinary collection of model local policies, programs, and initiatives on topics related to health and social justice. The database contains policies reflecting realities from urban communities to Native lands with an emphasis on health and social justice issues.

ENACT Local Policies Tool, is a searchable database that provides concrete examples of sample policies that have been implemented to improve food and recreation environments.

Mapping the Movement for Healthy Food and Activity Environments in the United States Summary summarizes the innovative efforts of organizations advocating for improvements in food and activity environments within predominantly low-income neighborhoods and with African American and Latino residents.

Multimedia, a seven-part documentary produced by California Newsreel asks, "Is inequality making us sick?" and explores racial and socioeconomic health disparities.

NPR News & Notes: Looking for Solutions to Childhood Obesity, Host Tony Cox leads a panel of health experts, including Makani Themba-Nixon, June 19, 2008

Additional Online Resources

Health Justice Report Card
Click here to track data and see where your county stands on a variety of health justice indicators, a tool kit to support policy advocacy and organizing, and model policies to help you move from data to action to community change.

THRIVE: Tool for Health & Resilience in Vulnerable Environments helps you understand and prioritize the factors within your own community that can help improve health and safety.

Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool (ENACT)
A concrete menu of strategies designed to help communities improve nutrition and activity environments locally.

Attacking Junk Food Marketing

Interactive Food & Beverage Marketing Targeting Children and Youth of Color summarizes the newest frontier in food marketing--digital advertising aimed directly at our kids. Visit this website to sign up for updates that provide real time monitoring of companies' current practices.

Ban Junk Food Advertising to Kids is an Australian movement to ban junk food advertisements aimed at children. Visit this website to see how they are mobilizing parents and health groups against junk food.

Learn More