Addressing Structural Racism Through Public Policy Advocacy

Published: January 16, 2024

joining hands in solidarity
  • This policy statement builds on the call to action put forth in our 2020 Presidential Advisory on structural racism as a fundamental driver of health disparities, discussing specific opportunities to leverage public policy in promoting overall wellbeing, and rectifying structural barriers that impede progress toward optimal health for all communities.
  • Specifically, this statement examines the history of structural racism and offers policy considerations for several priority social drivers of health including health care, healthy food and nutrition access, access to capital, housing, education, and the environment.
  • The AHA suggests a multipronged approach to addressing structural racism through public policy based on alignment with a set of principles developed to guide our advocacy and provide a roadmap for other organizations seeking to implement successful policy agendas focused on mitigating structural racism. The core tenets of these principles emphasize: an equity-first lens, a life course approach, lived experience, powerful partnerships, adaptable, sustainable and scalable frameworks, and mechanisms to measure success.