California’s public health care systems have long focused on health equity given their role as large safety net providers in communities of color. However, the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial and ethnic groups and the racial unrest of 2020 have further exposed the need to address structural racism in more deliberate and meaningful ways.  

Public health care systems are looking to strengthen their organizational commitment to anti-racism and develop strategies that embed equity in all aspects of care. SNI engaged the National Equity Project (NEP), an Oakland-based leadership and systems change organization focused on advancing equity objectives, to co-design a Racial Equity Community of Practice program across a cohort of members.   


The objective of the Community of Practice is to advance the efforts of public health care systems to improve racial equity and embed equity in all aspects of the organization by:   

  • Developing leadership capacity to make organizational change   
  • Facilitating a shared understanding and language, peer learning, and action  

Our Approach 

The Community of Practice approach:  

  • Allows members to share learnings, test new approaches, and problem-solve together with equity experts 
  • Strengthens and advances members’ existing equity efforts 
  • Provides structured support and 1:1 consulting with expert consultants  
  • Customizes content and resources based on member interest and progress   
  • Leverages successful practices to advance racial equity in health systems  

Program Structure and Timeline

The Community of Practice consists of a pre-launch phase, a level-setting phase and a learning and action phase. The phases will build upon each other to assist public health care systems in forming racial equity teams, laying the foundation for the Community of Practice, and entering into action.   

The Community of Practice consists of virtual workshops, in-person conferences, and periods of action in between meetings where teams test/pilot approaches that work towards their racial equity goals.   

Pre-Launch Phase: Team Building (October – December 2021) 

With support from SNI and NEP, public health care systems form a team to participate in the Community of Practice.  

Phase 1: Level Setting (January – April 2022) 

Teams build awareness and knowledge about racism and equity, and develop trusted connections with peers and consultants within a safe environment.  

Phase 2: Learning and Action (May 2022 – June 2023) 

Teams engage in peer learning, testing, and sharing of successes and opportunities based on their established racial equity goals.  

The Community of Practice is funded by the California Health Care Foundation.

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