Racial and Social Justice at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center
Our Approach and Philosophy
Going beyond just urging our patients to make good health choices, we are working with other organizations across sectors to address the unjust social factors that make healthy choices difficult or impossible for some. We work to create health equity - a society where all residents have a fair chance to live a long and healthy life. As we have done that we have come to see racism and the inequities it has created as a causal factor influencing many of these other social inequities.
According to the Boston Public Health Commission, "White residents, on average, enjoy better health than Black and Latino residents in Boston." Jamaica Plain is no exception - we are a diverse community but residents do not have equal access to resources such as quality schools, housing, and jobs. Access to these health-enhancing resources, and others such as green space and healthy food options, is shaped by a racially unjust system that ha created advantages for whites and disadvantages for people of color. For SJPHC, it is not enough to provide good health care - the mission extends to addressing the root cause.
In collaboration with the Boston Public Health Commission, SJPHC developed a model to support youth ages 16 - 22 in a process of racial healing and reconciliation as a tool for lifelong engagement in the work of racial justice and health equity. Click the photo or here for an inside look at this project. Don't forget to watch the Racial Healing and Reconciliation Documentary Project.
Inside Look: Get Health Information Project (GetHIP)
The Get Health Information Project, (GetHIP), is a collaboration between Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center's Health Promotion Center, BWH Residents, youth workers, and young men of color from Boston. The program has provided 8-weeks of trainings in community health, health equity, the impact of racism on health, racial justice framing, and advocacy of young men of color from around the Boston area. The goal of get HIP is to promote the health of program participants and their peers, continuing their personal development, while simultaneously catalyzing systems change. SJPHC has an excellent record of engaging youth in health equity initiatives, film making, and advocacy work. The following links are examples of our youth developed films:
Through a partnership with the South Street Apartments (a Boston Housing Authority Development), SJPHC, along with other organizations such as JP Tree of Life/Arbol de Vida, runs the South Street Youth Center (SSYC). The mission of SSYC is to provide a safe, educational, and engaging space during out-of-school time for young residents of the South Street Development.