Health Equity Academy

The LOOP’s “Health Equity Academy” series provides frameworks and tools for partners and stakeholders in commercial tobacco control and beyond the field who want to ground their understanding of this issue from the perspectives of California’s priority populations. Such understanding recognizes the importance of lived experience and local knowledge in identifying and understanding the root causes of commercial tobacco use and developing effective strategies for addressing them.

To date, The LOOP has created several educational materials and learning opportunities in this series that promote deeper thinking and stimulate conversations about structural racism and other related topics that will better inform commercial tobacco control work. With The LOOP’s adaptation of the the21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge that was shared shortly after the murder of George Floyd and subsequent nationwide protests in 2020, we embarked on a deeper exploration of the inequities that contribute to tobacco-related disparities. In 2021, we created an additional “5-day check-up” activity that was built around Heather McGhee’s recent discussions and writings about “zero-sum” thinking explored in her book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” (2021). McGhee’s work has inspired us to share a broad range of resources (e.g., podcasts, news stories, articles, etc.) that bring the effects of racism into clearer focus.

Through the Health Equity Academy series, we try to shed light on the interconnections between racialized dynamics in specific domains such as housing and commercial tobacco use and the availability of tobacco products We hope this exploration helps build frameworks and sensibilities that broaden considerations of root causes that contribute to tobacco-related disparities, offers insights for more effective policy and tobacco control efforts targeting California’s priority populations and results in strategies driven by specific community experiences and knowledge. Such exploration is especially important as we move collectively towards The Endgame. We do not want any group left behind.