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Advocating for Equity: Taking Action to Address Disparities in Care

“Of all forms of inequality the injustices in health is the most shocking and inhuman…our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Too many African Americans, Native Americans, Latinx, Asian Americans, and others from underrepresented communities are suffering disproportionately from COVID-19 and poverty, as well as the breakdown of trust and relationships due to continual systemic injustice over the years.

As C-TAC, we recognize that we must seize opportunities to help create a more equitable system of care for those with serious illness, especially the sickest and most vulnerable who we pledge to support in our vision statement.

We feel the urgency for change and for change that can be measured, as Rev. King eloquently puts it in the above quote, in qualitative and quantitative terms.  

What can we do? 

Change starts with the “we” – and the need to transform our own community: our staff, coalition, and Board of Directors.  

Our coalition has a unique strength in our faith community leaders to help address disparities for those with serious illness. Still, our work must not rest only with them; we must all be part of the solution.

As a first step, we will recruit more leaders who understand disparities and serious illness firsthand to join the staff, Board and coalition. Their voices will be critical for defining equity in health care and essential in dismantling the system which perpetuates disparities in care. 

Specifically, we will:

  • Recruit 3 new members for our Board of Directors by the end of 2020, each of whom will add racial and ethnic diversity
  • Hire a staff person in 2020 with expertise in health equity
  • Form an Equity taskforce, chaired by Rev. Tyrone Pitts that includes diverse leaders, staff, board members and members of our Coalition which will develop policy and programmatic recommendations relevant to our mission and moonshot goal
  • Hold a townhall in which our Board of Directors will listen to the needs and concerns of our Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup
  • Fund two pilot projects through the Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup in Louisville, KY, directed by faith leaders on the ground. The projects will focus on assessing needs related to serious illness and COVID-19, getting resources to those in need, and making relevant connections with C-TAC members.
    • If you are interested in finding out more or working on a project in your community, please contact Elder Angela Overton, Senior Advisor to the Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup, at AOverton@theCTAC.org.
  • Hold staff seminars and training on diversity, equity and inclusion.

We hope to bring this all together at our 2020 Summit, where we will ensure that there is greater participation from diverse participants and that there is an opportunity to dialogue with our members regarding redefining the C-TAC moonshot in terms of race, ethnicity and class. Our virtual Summit will be held from October 27-30. To learn more about the event, please click here.

This will be a long journey. We hope that you’ll join us and hold us accountable to our commitment to ensure that all Americans, especially the sickest and most vulnerable, receive high-quality, person- and family-centered serious illness care.

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