Equity and Justice Vision Statement

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Definitions and organizational framework

The Center for Public Interest Science is your food and health watchdog. CSPI envisions a healthy population with reduced impact and burden of preventable disease and an equitable food system that makes healthy and sustainable diets accessible to all. We value independence, scientific rigor and transparency.

CSPI centers racial equity and justice in its work to advance health equity. We seek to approach our work within a framework of racial equity and justice, as all health disparities (see definitions) have been created and are maintained by racialized policies and practices that perpetuate anti-blackness and the effects of colonialism. Our framework aims to center those most burdened by racialized systems of oppression, as we recognize that moving away from paternalistic and top-down approaches is necessary to create meaningful social change. Additionally, a racial equity and justice framework provides us with an intersectional lens that applies to all socially stratified identities and enables us to pursue a wide range of work to address health disparities. As an organization, we embrace the following definitions of fairness and justice:

Health disparity: Avoidable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunity to achieve optimal health between socially disadvantaged populations and those with more social privilege. Health disparities are unjust and are directly associated with the historical and current unequal distribution of social, political, economic and environmental resources. (Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Health Equity: Everyone has a fair and equal chance to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing upstream barriers to health such as poverty, discrimination and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair wages, quality education and housing, safe environments and health care. Health equity is the absence of unfair and avoidable inequalities in health between groups of people, including those grouped according to demographic, economic, geographic, social and other measures of inequality (disability, sex, sex or sexual orientation). (Adapted from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and World Health Organization)

Racial Equity: Racial equity is both an outcome and a process. Accordingly, it is achieved when race no longer affects one’s social position. As a process, it is applied when those most affected by structural racial inequalities are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the institutional policies and practices that impact their lives. (Adapted from Race Forward)

racial justice: A vision and transformation of society to eliminate racial hierarchies and advance collective liberation, where Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people, in particular, have dignity, resources, power and self-determination to fully flourish. (Adapted from Race Forward)

As such, health equity is the addressing process health disparities promote racial equity with the ultimate goal of achieving racial justice.

Vision for Health Equity, Racial Equity and Racial Justice

CSPI is committed to advancing health equity, racial equity, and racial justice by transforming systems such as racism, classism, and all other forms of oppression. We seek to identify, name and meaningfully examine the root causes of disparities and advocate for community and science-based solutions. In particular, we are committed to creating a fairer food system by ensuring equitable access to healthy, affordable, sustainable, ethically produced, culturally relevant and nutritious food. We aspire to be guided by those most affected by the issues we seek to address, including people with Black and/or Indigenous racial identity, people living in rural communities, people with disabilities, and other groups with socially stratified identities.

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