The System exChange
The System exChange provides powerful tips and ideas for transforming your local community.
Part 3 in the series on Equity
The last issue of the System exChange introduced how to Design Powerful Strategies. Click here for past issues.

This week's System exChange builds on these ideas and highlights several additional ways to bring an equity focus into your work.
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Powerful Equity Practices:
Organizational Equity Self-Assessment
Are you looking for concrete steps your organization can take to promote equity in the community?

All organizations have internal policies, routines, practices, and operations that guide their work. 

Unfortunately, some of these policies and practices often (unintentionally) reinforce inequitable opportunities for local community members. For example:
  • multi-step enrollment processes disadvantage people with limited phone minutes
  • criminal background checks disadvantage people who have come in contact with the criminal justice system, which disproportionately impact men of color. 
  • eligibility policies requiring a home address disadvantage homeless individuals

Organizational Equity Assessment tools can help organizations better understand to what extent their current policies and practices promote equity. Organizations can then use the assessment results to guide improvement efforts.

Example Organizational Equity Self-Assessment Questions

To what extent does your organization…   

  1. Continually communicate a commitment to promoting equity in all phases of the work?
  2. Track and prioritize specific outcomes related to reducing inequities?
  3. Ensure staff and leaders are reflective of the local populations served across all organizational units?
  4. Regularly assess how current programs, budget decisions, engagement practices, and policies promote equity or perpetuate inequities?
Tool to help organizations assess the extent to which current internal policies, practices, and capacities promote equity.
Tool to help organizations assess the extent to which current internal policies, practices, and capacities promote racial equity.
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Want access to more information about community transformation? Check out the Michigan CHIR Learning website !! This website includes information, tools, and resources to help support local collaborative efforts.
March 2020
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  • Annie E Casey Foundation (2006). Race matters. Retrieved from
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2014). Race equity and inclusion action guide. Retrieved from  
  • john powell, Stephen Menendian & Jason Reece. (2009). The Importance of targeted universalism. Poverty & Race. 18(2).
  • Just Health Action (n.d.) Introduction to environmental justice, equity, and health. Retrieved from ?
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2010) A new way to talk about the social determinants of health. Retrieved from 
  • content/uploads/2016/08/rwjf63023.pdf 
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2016). From vision to action: A framework and measures to mobilize a culture of health. Retrieved from 
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2017) Everett culture of health story. Retrieved from
  • Thomas, S. P., Quinn, S. C., Butler, J., Fryer, C. S., & Garza, M. A. (2011) Towards a fourth generation of disparities research to achieve health equity. Annual Review of Public Health 32(3), 399-416.