What is Equity ?


Who is Equity Matters

Equity Matters is primarily focused on promoting health equity through the elimination of the avertable death and disease and through the promotion of health in all policies. The organization is committed to eliminating health inequities by addressing their root causes that are social, political, and economic in nature. We refer to these systemic root causes as social determinants of health (SDOH).

Social conditions are the fundamental determinants of health and disparities, and there is a graded relationship between social position and health status that affects people at all levels of the social hierarchy—and this is both unnatural and preventable. In fact 40-70% of Health Disparities in the US are caused by SDOH driven inequities. This suggests that the principal way to reduce health disparities is to focus research and policy on systematic forces.

Through Equity Matters, we represent the Baltimore Team of the PLACE MATTERSInitiative. PLACE MATTERS is a nationwide, locally centered, Health Equity Movement learning community initiative of the National Collaborative for Health Equity.Equity Matters has evolved out of this PLACE MATTERS work that focuses on developing place-based regional and municipal strategies to promote health equity, rooted in an SDOH framework.

  • 40% – 70% of Health Disparities in the US are caused by SDOH driven inequities. 40%
  • 70%

Support Our Mission

In Baltimore, it is abundantly clear that the neighborhood in which you live heavily determines whether you can access these basic needs so PLACE MATTERS. Being able to take advantage of these opportunities, no matter where you live is critical to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at a happy and healthy life — <br>therefore, Equity Matters

Featured Reports

Place Matters for Health in Baltimore: Ensuring opportunities for Good Health for all A report on Health inequities in Baltimore, Maryland

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News and Equity Matters Blog

‘It Can Wear the Soul Raw’: Activists Recharge at Mountain Retreat

BY ERRIN WHACK The lush valleys and mountains of Asheville, N.C., are eight hours and a world away from the tragedy, violence and poverty of Baltimore. This week, hundreds of leaders of civil rights and social justice organizations descended on this serene backdrop like soldiers coming off a battlefield for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s fourth America Healing Conference. The four-day event concluding Thursday was an opportunity to swap strategy, regain focus and recharge before returning to a fight that, for many, has been particularly traumatic in recent months. Kellogg vice president Gail Christopher said the foundation’s approach to this year’s conference—including a first-ever session on self-care—factored in the potential toll of recent events on many attendees. “Given all the pain that’s going on, when every single week there’s another story of a young black male that’s been killed, I realized we’re grief-stricken,” she said. “We knew that people would be bringing that energy in and we knew we had to find a way to have resilience … for them to have opportunities to know that they are valuable human beings.” The attendees — most of whom are doing work funded by the foundation — gathered at the 100-year-old Grove Park Inn, a resort atop the aptly-named Sunset Mountain. Between planning sessions and panels, they relaxed in rocking chairs overlooking the hills, and dined in fresh air as bees buzzed nearby. “The location helps … It’s real laid back and calm,” said Darel Ross II, co-director of LINC Community Revitalization based in Grand Rapids, Mich. “It’s hard not to be relaxed, but this is 500 people who spend very little time relaxing.... read more
Help the Live Free team and clergy partner with the ​Equity Matters in Baltimore Your donation will go to the work of providing necessary food and clothing to the people of Baltimore who are taking their time to lift their voices in the streets and in the congregations​. Together with clergy in Baltimore, we will train other clergy and leaders on the ground in peaceful protest and non-violent resistance​ to ensure that ​the movement to live free is sustained and that we continue to restore humanity to communities of color involved in state-sanctioned violence. Click to Donate   ... read more

Six officers charged in death of Freddie Gray

By Pamela Wood The Baltimore Sun May 1,2015 The six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray – who died last month after being injured in police custody – have been charged criminally, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office. Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Mosby’s announcement was greeted with cheers and applause. She said she told Gray’s family that “no one is above the law.” Gray, 25, was chased down and arrested by Baltimore officers on April 12 and died a week later. His family has said he suffered a spinal cord injury and a crushed voice box. After bystander video of the arrest surfaced, showing Gray dragging his feet as he was put in a police transport van, there have been cries for charges against the officers Click to Read the Entire... read more

State Violence Against Black and Brown Youth

State Violence Against Black and Brown Youth I first met Emery Robinson at Albert Leonard Junior high school in, New Rochelle, NY. He was two grades behind me, a 7th grader when I was in the 9th grade. He was known as a manchild, not only in terms of size, because he was much bigger than most 9th graders even then, but because he had the physicality and presence of a young man. He could have easily passed for 17 or 18 years old when, by my recollection, he could not have been much more than 11 or 12. His face, however, betrayed his youth; cherubic, at times shy, an easy laugh and mischievous smile, he was what one would refer to as “not a bad kid,” to indicate someone who was a bit mischievous but not malicious. Because of his size he made the basketball team, though it did not seem as if he had a great interest in basketball. He gravitated to kids who were a little older, bolder and who occasionally got into trouble, petty theft, but no violence to my knowledge. In my home town, junior high school was a pivotal point in the lives of many poor and not so poor, black, brown and working class kids from many diverse backgrounds. The ones who smoked reefer first were the first to experiment with hallucinogens, the first to inject cocaine and perhaps heroin and from there, among the first to contract HIV/AIDS, which back then was a death sentence. Emery was spared this fate, this particular end to his life. Read More Click Here... read more

The Role The Police Played In Sparking The Baltimore Violence

The mainstream media is getting the story wrong with regards to the Baltimore Uprising taking place. Journalists are lazily positing a direct connection between the Freddie Gray protests and the riot that broke out after Freddie Gray’s funeral. But that’s not the full story. Most of the media are ignoring the fact that the Baltimore Police Department escalated the situation by releasing a press release during Freddie Gray’s funeral that claimed that Baltimore’s most notorious gangs—the Bloods, Crips, and Black Guerrilla Family—were forming a dark alliance to “take out” police. Click Here to Entire Article... read more

Nonviolence as Compliance

Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray’s death, and so they appeal for order. Jim Bourg / Reuters TA-NEHISI COATES  APR 27, 2015 Rioting broke out on Monday in Baltimore—an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray, a death my native city seems powerless to explain. Gray did not die mysteriously in some back alley but in the custody of the city’s publicly appointed guardians of order. And yet the mayor of that city and the commissioner of that city’s police still have no idea what happened. I suspect this is not because the mayor and police commissioner are bad people, but because the state of Maryland prioritizes the protection of police officers charged with abuse over the citizens who fall under its purview. The citizens who live in West Baltimore, where the rioting began, intuitively understand this. I grew up across the street from Mondawmin Mall, where today’s riots began. My mother was raised in the same housing project, Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was killed. Everyone I knew who lived in that world regarded the police not with admiration and respect but with fear and caution. People write these feelings off as wholly irrational at their own peril, or their own leisure. The case against the Baltimore police, and the society that superintends them, is easily made: Click Here To Read Entire... read more

Until We Tackle Segregation, White Cops Will Keep Shooting Black People

By LAWRENCE BROWN PublishedAPRIL 9, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT Another white police officer has shot and killed yet another black person—this time it’s Walter Scott, who was killed by now-former officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina. As the body count of black lives and level of trauma inflicted on the black community continue to climb, we are confronted with a critical question: Why do the police keep shooting and killing unarmed black men and women? American history reveals that black people’s relationship with the police has been one of attempted subjugation since the birth of the nation. Whether slave patrols or the Black Codes, whether the 3,959 lynchings of Black people between 1877 and 1950 or a neo-slavery system of convict leasing, the history of American policing is replete with the message that black lives don’t matter. Click Here To Read Entire... read more
March 18, 2015 – Segment 2 We continue our discussion on the topic of race and racism in Baltimore, focusing on practical solutions. Our panel of guests includes: Dr. Roni Ellington, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Morgan State University; Roberto Alejandro, reporter for Baltimore’s Afro-American newspaper; Dr. Lawrence Brown, public health consultant and Assistant Professor of Public Health in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University; Michael Scott, Chief Equity Officer/President/Co-Founder of Equity Matters; and Dr. Tara Bynum, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Towson University.... read more
March 17, 2015 – Segment 2 Do you think Baltimore has a race problem? An article in the Baltimore Sun this past weekend indicates that Baltimore leaders agree: City has a race problem. We discuss it with: Dr. Lawrence Brown, public health consultant and Assistant Professor of Public Health in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University; community activist Kim Trueheart; Michael Eugene Johnson, Executive Director of the Paul Robeson Institute for Social Change; and Roberto Alejandro, reporter for Baltimore’s Afro-American newspaper.... read more