Frequently Asked Questions about the Roots of Health Inequity Course Series site and how to use it. Want to learn more? Check out About or contact us with a question. 

What is the Roots of Health Inequity Course?

The Roots of Health Inequity is a free, online learning collaborative for current and future public health professionals. The goal of this course is to address a need expressed by public health practitioners to better tackle the root causes of health inequities.

Ongoing social injustice affects the way people live, their chance of illness, and their risk of premature death. With growing degrees of social and economic inequality, marginalized communities – people with low incomes, of color, with different abilities, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, and more – continue to have disproportionately high rates of adverse health outcomes. Root causes and structural determinants of health inequity play a fundamental role in people’s ability to gain access to resources and opportunities required for health and well- being.

This revised course series equips participants with tools necessary to understand, identify and more directly act on the root causes of health inequity to implement equitable public health initiatives. Participants can explore the social processes that create health inequities, strategize effective ways to act on root causes, and engage with colleagues and partners working to end health inequity. Register for the course to start your journey today.

How has the Roots of Health Inequity Course been improved?

Building off the original version, the revised course adds new content and features to facilitate the learning experience, empowering current and future health professionals to take action to dismantle deeply entrenched injustices. 

Here's what you can expect:

  • Deeper Dive: The Roots of Health Inequity Course Series expands each unit from the original Roots of Health Inequity Course into individual courses as part of a course series and delves deeper into the root causes of health inequities with 4 all-new courses, examining a range of topics, including why a root cause approach is crucial to eradicating health inequity; how to leverage power in public health; how to build power with communities; and improve equity within our organizations. Other courses have also been updated with new content, adding novel frameworks, definitions, and stories
    from communities all over the United States, including Indigenous, immigrant, and Rural populations.
  • New Voices: The course features interviews with a diverse array of expert researchers, community organizers and practitioners, centering the experiences of engaging community members to build power, advance social justice, and change narratives.
  • Interactive Learning: The Roots of Health Inequity Course Series embraces a new user interface for a dynamic learning environment, featuring immersive case studies, interactive exercises, and discussion prompts for facilitated dialogue that spark critical thinking and ignite collaborative problem-solving. The platform also adds AI functionality to help users navigate the course and tailor their learning.
  • Building a Community: The Roots of Health Inequity Course Series allows users to form learning groups to navigate the course together, sharing experiences, exchanging best practices, and drawing strength from one another. The new Roots of Health Inequity Facilitation Guide also helps you tailor discussions about course topics to your group's needs. Throughout the course, the platform captures and shares responses to discussion prompts anonymously, allowing users to share their own experiences engaging with content and view the thoughts of other users.

Who is the course available to?

Anyone interested in addressing the root causes of health inequities may register for the course for free. The course’s primary audience is public health practitioners and students in schools of public health. However, a secondary audience includes any groups or individuals committed to ending health inequity, including grassroots organizations, community organizers and other civil society organizations that work toward health and social justice. Participants can explore the social processes that create health inequities, strategize effective ways to act on these root causes, and form relationships with other groups (i.e. LHDs) working towards health equity. The course is available for both group and individual learners.

Is the Roots Course a good Health Equity 101?

The Roots of Health Inequity Course Series is not a health equity 101. This is a comprehensive learning tool for people who are ready to begin the work of tackling health inequity at a more intermediate or above level. Each course includes content to explore key terminologies, histories, and other foundational concepts for health equity before exploring strategies. If you are brand new to health equity and find it overwhelming to discuss topics, such as racism, white supremacy, capitalism, gender, or power, a strong facilitator can be a great resource for engaging this content in a group learning environment. This course is meant to challenge you and learning alongside others can expose you to different perspectives that can help you reflect on the content. Additionally, consider exploring the resources on our HESJ Webpage and our upcoming Resource Center to supplement your journey with Roots and reach out to us at rootsofhealthinequity@naccho.org if you have any questions.

Does the course have to be taken all at once?

The course series was revised to adopt a “choose your own adventure” model. Course users are encouraged to take one course, all courses, or use content from across the series for a more tailored training experience. All courses and their learning objectives can be found on the course preview pages to help you determine your training goals. If you need additional help deciding which course or courses to take, reach out to us at rootsofhealthinequity@naccho.org.

How long does the course take to complete?

Course completion time will vary, depending on your learning goals, modalities and if you are taking the course independently or as a group. To best utilize the course, we recommend a group learning format and encourage participants to commit 1-2 hours a week for 5-6 weeks per course. Group leaders can assign content for learners to review in advance and then facilitate dialogue about course content on a weekly basis. Transformational learning takes time, intention and reflection. We recommend this format to give participants enough time to dissect each chapter and reflect on topics. Discussion prompts, Voices features, videos, activities, interactives and case studies are available throughout each course to further support your learning.

Is the course free?

Yes, The Roots of Health Inequity Course Series is free to use.

Is there a Facilitation Guide?

Yes, our revised Facilitation Guide is available for download on the course platform and through the MyNACCHO platform. Just create your free account. Additionally, page-specific content from the Facilitation Guide is available via a ‘dropdown’ at the top of each course’s page. This only viewable if you are signed into the course as a ‘group leader’. The guide includes an overview of the course content, tips on how to facilitate social justice dialogues, suggested activities, sample worksheets and more.

Does the Roots of Health Inequity Course offer CEU credits?

We are currently looking into accreditation for the course to be able to offer CEU credits.

What support will be provided along with the new course?

Potential users are always welcome to contact us. Additionally, we will be providing a series of office hours in the months following our launch at NACCHO 360 in July-- more information to come. In the meantime, please let us know if you’d be interested in joining by signing up here.

Where can I learn more?

  1. Contact us
  2. NACCHO website: Health Equity and Social Justice - NACCHO
  3. Social media: follow our social media platforms!

If I have more questions, who do I reach out to?

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!