An aerial view of a city.
An aerial view of a city.

New Jersey has a lot to be proud of when it comes to health, but there also are wide, persistent—and in some cases, growing—gaps in health across the state. A series of comprehensive, equity-promoting policies are needed to ensure that everyone in our state has a fair and just opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.

A multicultural group of girls sitting on the steps outside a townhouse.

A Roadmap to a More Equitable Future

For New Jersey to be a place where everyone can achieve the healthiest life possible, we must acknowledge structural racism as a root cause of inequity and address it—together.

Featured Content

Advancing racial equity to achieve health equity

Each of us has diverse origins. Yet, for many, the journey comes with barriers in the form of discriminatory and racist policies and practices that stand in the way of wellbeing.

Racial disparities in health access and outcomes remain 'embedded' in N.J.

A report examines "health inequity," the uneven distribution of social and economic resources affecting health. port released May 2023 examines "health inequity," the uneven distribution of social and economic resources affecting health.

Advancing Food Security in New Jersey

As part of our commitment to advance health equity in New Jersey, we support efforts to help end hunger, enhance equitable access to healthier food retail options in under-resourced areas, and improve food security in our home state.

Areas of Focus

Structural racism, compounded through generations of policies and practices, causes different New Jersey populations to experience vastly different realities. Our work seeks to address the drivers of inequitable health conditions in three key areas:


Advancing birth equity in New Jersey

Black people in New Jersey are seven times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white people. To end such disparities, the systems that serve populations of color need targeted improvements in prevention, care, and support.

A couple standing in their driveway at home.

Making safe, affordable housing available to all

New Jersey has among the highest housing costs in the country and millions of residents—largely people of color—are segregated and effectively shut out of opportunities to live in the kinds of homes and communities to which they aspire This is a major barrier to good health.

A nurse administers a shot at an inoculation site.

Creating a stronger public health infrastructure

The COVID-19 pandemic called attention to—and worsened—the impact of racism and inequity on the lives of people of color and residents with low incomes. As New Jersey turns to recover and repair, a revitalized public health system is crucial to making sure history does not repeat itself.

Trending News, Insights & Evidence

A collection of trending topics, thought leadership, and research about our work to build a Culture of Health here at home in New Jersey.

N.J. Poll Finds Demographics Shape Perceptions of Health Equity

Residents with greater privilege and access to opportunities not only lead healthier lives but are also less likely to acknowledge that racism and discrimination contribute to poor health.

Seizing the Moment: Creating NJ's First Public Health Institute

RWJF and the newly announced incubator organization of the public health institute (PHI) are looking to make the longtime goal of a state PHI a reality. Read the report.

Trenton must do more to help N.J.’s hungry

More than 285,000 households lacked access to affordable food at the height of the pandemic, and it hit hardest along racial and ethnic lines.

Featured Initiatives

We work alongside organizations large and small to address issues critical to making health equity a reality for everyone living in our home state.

Racial Equity Blog Illustration

Achieving Health Equity Begins With Advancing Racial Equity

People created laws and policies that perpetuate health injustices. We have the power to transform those policies and drive improvements to achieve health and racial equity in New Jersey.

Community members lead a neighborhood rehabilitation project.

Jegna Council

The Jegna Council is an advisory group that guides our New Jersey grantmaking team as they strive to more effectively center equity in their work and build power across the state, with an intentional focus on communities that have historically lacked opportunities to live their healthiest life.