The Health Equity Charter is one of the foundational documents that, together with the Model of Health and Wellbeing and Model of Wholistic Health and Wellbeing (for Indigenous organizations), guides our collective efforts recognizing and confronting barriers to equitable health, and helps bring us closer to our vision of the best possible health and wellbeing for everyone in Ontario.
The Health Equity Charter was first adopted in 2012. Since then, a lot has changed in the health equity environment, both internally and externally. In 2019, the Alliance Board launched the Health Equity Charter refresh to ensure the Charter aligns with our evolving understanding of health equity, ally relationship and reconciliation; anti-Black racism and its impacts on the health and wellbeing of Black people, barriers faced by Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Non-binary (2SLGBTQ+), the intersecting and compounding impacts of various forms of discrimination and marginalization. The goal was to create a living document that is more relevant to the current situation, at the organizational and sector level.
The refresh process took us longer than planned due to the COVID-19 crisis that has exposed and amplified health inequities faced by marginalized people and communities that Alliance members have long worked to address. Over the past few months, we have also seen a growing Black Lives Matter movement in Canada and across the world. It has laid bare the pervasive nature of anti-Black racism and violence in all systems, including the health care system, its multiple negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of Black communities, and the need to take a stronger stance against white supremacy, Canada’s legacy of colonization and slavery, and racism against Black and Indigenous people.
With the overlapping crises of the pandemic, anti-Black racism, colonization and its continuous impacts on Indigenous people, homelessness, the overdose crisis, poverty and isolation, food security and other key determinants of health, our collective work to advance health equity is more important than ever. This urgency is reflected in the revised Health Equity Charter.
The Health Equity Charter is a living document — oriented to advancing health equity through a human rights and social justice approach, and to driving change at all levels: systems, policies, as well as organizational and individual practices. We invite you, whether as individuals or organizations, to commit to this Charter as well.
To learn more, please see the documents below: