Health Equity and Social Justice “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking
and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.”

Martin Luther King Jr. March 25, 1966

Addressing health equity and social justice issues is one of the three focus areas of the Michigan WISEWOMAN and Wise Choices Programs, but what do we mean when we say health equity and social justice?

Achieving health equity is a process. Public health interventions like WISEWOMAN and Wise Choices help put into action policies and practices that create a foundation for long term change and empowering participants to achieve their best health.
Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be the healthiest they can be. This requires removing the things that keep people from being healthy such as:
    • Poverty
    • Discrimination
    • Feelings of powerlessness
It also requires making sure everyone has access to:
    • Jobs with fair pay
    • Quality education
    • Safe and affordable housing
    • Affordable health care

Social justice is the distribution within a society of:
    • Resources
    • Opportunities
    • Privileges
As well as the absence of unfair, unjust advantage or privilege based on:
    • Race
    • Class
    • Gender
    • Other forms of difference

Addressing health equity and social justice is a guiding principle for the WISEWOMAN and Wise Choices staff.
It means we:
    1) Value all people equally

    2) Help support and build community capacity to make healthy choices practical and available to all community members

    3) Work with other organizations to address the factors that influence health, including employment, housing, education, health care (including behavioral health) and food access

    4) Operate with the understanding that racism is the primary force underlying health inequities

WISEWOMAN and Wise Choices work to create health equity and social justice by providing resources participants need to make healthy behavior changes and improve their economic well-being.
The resources we offer include:
• Health Screenings
• Health Promotion Activities (programs that address healthy weight, quitting smoking,  and preventing diabetes)
Health and Wellness Coaching
• Market Fresh coupons to purchase fresh Michigan-grown food
• Nutrition Education classes (SNAP-Ed, Cooking Matters)
• Opportunities to earn extra money in the WISEWOMAN Entrepreneurial Gardening Program by selling produce, or by mentoring and educating other gardeners.

The WISEWOMAN program gives women the opportunity to develop relationships with other women in their community. WISEWOMAN and Wise Choices provide opportunities for participants to learn skills that encourage healthy lifestyle choices for themselves and for their families.

The WISEWOMAN Vision is that every woman has the opportunity to improve
her health and well-being and that of her community.