HEiAP Resources

Access our toolbox of equity resources

Supporting our equity work​

Resources from both local and national partners should be used to supplement the process of embedding equity in decision-making across policy areas and sectors. The toolkits and equity impact assessments presented here were consulted during the development of the Equity Decision Support Tool and can provide additional information for partners seeking to dive deeper in certain content areas. ​

Glossary of Terms


A “community” is a network of individuals, each with unique perspectives, insights, and affiliations, connected by a shared lived experience of their neighborhood (or another context). This means there are multiple and diverse communities within “the community” and our engagement should acknowledge this cultural richness and be intentional about which members of various communities should be included. ​

Source: Elevated Chicago’s Community Engagement Principles 2.0 

Health equity

The opportunity for every person to live their healthiest life.

Source: Healthy Chicago


Ideas and actions that identify and fight against racism.​

Source: Healthy Chicago ​

Life expectancy

How long a person should expect to live based on the average for people like them.​

Source: Healthy Chicago


We define equity as both an outcome and a process. As an outcome: We achieve equity when identity and social status no longer predestine life outcomes. As a process: We achieve equity when those most impacted by the problems we seek to address are experts in their own experiences, strategists in co-creating solutions and evaluators of success. This process also includes methodically evaluating benefits and burdens produced by seemingly neutral systems and practices, and prioritizing access and opportunities for groups who have the greatest need. When thinking about equity, we can consider several identities, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, geography, gender identity, income, age, immigration status, and ability.

Source: City of Chicago Office of Equity and Racial Justice (OERJ), Race Forward, Human Impact Partners, Dr. Camara Jones

Social determinants of health

The various conditions of where we collectively live, work, and play that shape how we experience our health at an individual level.

Source: Healthy People 2030, OASH 


Power operates everywhere at all times. Power is not fixed, but fluid; it is dependent on various factors, and relative to whatever space or community we’re in. At a personal level, identities, relationships, connections, institutional affiliations, structural access, access to resources and safety nets, job titles, and many other factors all shape how much power we have in a given situation. At an institutional level, the breadth and depth of our networks, a shared vision and goals, shared histories and political analysis, the ability to mobilize many people towards a shared purpose, and other factors shape how much power we have to affect change together.

Source: Human Impact Partners 


Inequities are created when barriers prevent individuals and communities from accessing these conditions and reaching their full potential. Inequities differ from health disparities, which are differences in health status between people related to social or demographic factors such as race, gender, income or geographic region. Health disparities are one way we can measure our progress toward achieving health equity.

Source: American Public Health Association

Structural change

Structural change is about the development, implementation, and protection of policies, practices, and systems changes to support a culture of health—a culture in which all people have equal opportunities to make healthy choices, whatever their circumstances. The structures can be rules and regulations, institutional policies and priorities, cultural norms and values—and disparities in power and influence.

Source: Lead Local