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An Intro to Equity v. Equality

An Intro to Equity v. Equality

Everyone deserves equal access to a full, healthy life, and achieving true health equity is a community effort. 

No matter where you are on your health equity learning journey, we want to meet you there. We’ve created a short list of organizations and resources that can help deepen and expand our understanding and pursuit of health equity in our communities.

We'd love to hear what parts of these learning pages you found most helpful or challenging. Send us your feedback and reflections here.


Resources & Links

Center for Health Progress 

Offers a powerful example of an in-depth organizational commitment to health equity as well as emerging resources and analysis. Their blog series is a great way to understand social determinants of health, and stay up to date on emerging issues in health equity in Colorado.

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Waiting for Health Equity 

Also from Center for Health Progress, this graphic novel is a powerful introduction to understanding health equity.

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American Public Health Association 

Featuring an in-depth health equity page, with a number of extraordinary resources for understanding the impacts of racism on public health.

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CDPHE's Office of Health Equity 

The state office of health equity has a series of resources, newsletters, and other information about health equity efforts at a state level.

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What is Health Equity? 

This is the primary paper used within the field of public health to define health equity, and illuminates why a shared clear definition centering social justice is critical.

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Created by Human Impact Partners, this resource is an organizing and learning tool for public health departments to guide their work through an equity lens, focused on systems change.

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What this looks like in the Silver Thread Public Health District

Silver Thread Public Health is committed to creating a culture of belonging for everyone. We are continuously working on improving our understanding of health equity and how we can achieve it together, as a community. 

In our organization pursuing Health Equity comes in the form of staff learning circles; ensuring we have pay equity and that there are no gender disparities in our pay scales; and constantly analyzing whether our programs and services are addressing unmet needs in our communities. 

How are you pursuing health equity where you live, work, and play? Have a story you’d like to share with us? Send any local health equity success stories to us here.


Our communities have been part of UpRISE, Colorado’s Social Justice Tobacco Control Movement. UpRISE’s mission is to amplify the passion of Colorado’s young people in order to expose the dangerous practices of the tobacco industry and increase awareness about why many youth use nicotine and other substances. 

Over the last two years our youth leaders have identified stress and lack of support for mental health as primary root causes of nicotine use among themselves and their peers, and begun exploring ways to address lack of mental health support and stigma including lifting up outdoor activities as an essential release for stress and support for mental wellness.


Sonder is an arts and creative expression-based approach to building tools for social and emotional wellness among youth. Based off of Dr. Heather Kennedy’s work with Colorado Children’s Hospital’s Youth Action Board, and their Expressive Approaches Toolkit, Sonder is a youth-adult partnership in reducing mental health stigma and building skills for social and emotional wellbeing. 

This past year and a half we have been anchoring our Sonder groups within the middle school life skills classroom context, however, we are planning to shift to an out-of-school -time format to increase access and also provide resources for homeschooled students. Explore some of the Sonder student's art and words here.

Sonder is a recently coined word, a noun, which means the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. A beautiful video visualization of the concept from it’s author can be found here. To see an example of the work that inspired our original Sonder youth groups see the original project supported by Dr. Heather Kennedy here: Sonder: Youth Mental Health Stories of Struggle and Strength.