Why health equity matters and what you can do to help give everyone a fair shot at being as healthy as they can be.

Why Equity Matters

Across the nation, gaps in health are large, persistent and increasing—many of them caused by barriers set up at all levels of our society. After all, it's hard to be healthy without access to good jobs and schools and, safe, affordable homes. Health equity means increasing opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible, no matter who we are, where we live, or how much money we make.

The Interplay Between Culture and Heath

This video series explores how cultural filters shape the way each of us understands and pursues health and wellbeing, from our perceptions of health to where patients seek help and the types of treatment patients prefer. Review the video series user's guide. 

NOTE: If you would like to use the video series user's guide outside of our terms of use, please complete this permission form (please include name of the material in the “title” field) and send to reprintpermissions@rwjf.org.

Series//Cultures and Health


Featured Health Equity Resources

Landmark Work

Communicating About Health Equity

Advocate for policies that advance equity by better understanding the different groups you need to reach and how they think about health. 

Grantee Resource

Health Equity Impact Tool

Designed to benchmark how state health agencies’ work impacts health equity and identify broad strategic equity goals which can be used to generate an action plan, this tool centers disparities by race and ethnicity and also considers inequities experienced by people living with disabilities, low-income groups, and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Explore the Evidence

Health is about much more than genetics and medical care. Research has shown that the conditions we face as we live, learn, work and play—what researchers call the social determinants of health—also have a lot to do with how healthy we are.

How does inequity play out in America today? Through:

What's Working in Other Countries

Health Equity: What We Can Learn From the World

Three RWJF-supported reports offer important insights, lessons, and solutions that we can adapt and learn from to advance health equity in the United States.

Related News and Insights

Read expert perspectives and the latest research from RWJF to explore the opportunities and complexities of this topic.

Health Equity in Action

Health equity is crucial to a vibrant nation. Unfortunately, many areas have experienced generations of isolation from opportunity. Policies and practices at every level have created deep-rooted barriers to good health. Because of this, far too many start behind and stay behind.

At the same time, communities are increasingly recognizing that when everyone has the opportunity to live their healthiest lives, we are all better off. They are thinking in new ways about the many systems that influence health, from education and housing to transportation and public safety. And from parents and educators to health providers and business leaders, they are coming together around a common goal of better health for everyone.

What You Can Do to Take Action for Health Equity

From small steps you can take right now to larger policy changes you can help support.

If you ...



  • Understand the role of social determinants on health, and use these tips for covering them.
  • Understand the difference between health disparities and health equity.
  • When in doubt, consult experts on health equity.
  • Apply an equity lens to news as you’re reporting it: Whom does this benefit? Does this impact vulnerable groups?