Understanding that oral health disparities are felt disproportionately among low-income and communities of color, Oral Health Ohio is committed to and has taken intentional action to engage in activities and conversations to understand how to advance and embed race equity and inclusion in our work.
These activities include:
In 2019, OHO staff participated in a three-day intensive training on racial equity through the Racial Equity Institute (REI). REI is a Black-owned business of organizers and trainers who are committed to the work of anti-racism transformation. REI’s training is designed to help individuals, organizations, and communities grow their understanding and analysis of structural racism and its cultural and historic roots.
In 2018, OHO staff participated “The Art of Participatory Leadership” training. This two-day intensive training, offered by Philanthropy Ohio, focused on how to engage in conversations that lead to change in communities, organizations, and ourselves.
Since 2019, OHO staff have been reading books on race and equity including:
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America by Mary Otto
Going forward in 2020, Oral Health Ohio will be using tools for organizational self-assessment related to racial equity to gain a holistic snapshot of our practices and policies as they relate to racial equity. This will help us gather baseline data and information in order to self-identify areas for organizational change and improvement, including specific actions and targets that will lead to improved oral health outcomes for all Ohioans.