For more than 50 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has championed the core belief that everyone in America deserves a fair and just opportunity to thrive. That vision is not yet a reality. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the racial reckoning of 2020 made that clear.
Today, unfair laws and policies place more value on some lives than others, based on race and class and other factors. This limits opportunities for many of us in jobs, education, lending, housing, and unjust treatment in the legal system.
To tackle this, RWJF is taking steps to focus on one of the biggest barriers to health in America: structural racism.
President and CEO Richard Besser shares RWJF’s journey and the work that's already underway.
We have the power to transform the inequitable institutions, systems, and social practices that people intentionally created, and that still exist today. Together, we can build a future where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their fullest health and wellbeing.
We all want to live the healthiest life possible in the place we call home. And yet, some communities lack access to quality healthcare. Others live near polluted air and toxic waste instead of having well-funded schools and parks. These inequities, often based on race, hinder health and wellbeing and intensify all forms of discrimination.
To transform health over the course of a generation, we have set three ambitious goals that we believe we can and must achieve, in collaboration with grantees, partners, and communities.
Economic Inclusion for Family Wellbeing
We believe a nation is possible where families have access to affordable, quality childcare and where no one must choose between paying for meals or paying their bills.
Equitable and Accountable Public Health and Healthcare Systems
We advocate for a healthcare system that provides respectful, high-quality care for everyone and a Public Health System that works together with communities to dismantle structural racism as a root cause of health disparities in America.
Healthy and Equitable Community Conditions
We envision flourishing communities where everyone has access to clean, safe drinking water and safe, stable housing; where jobs pay a living wage; where we have torn down the walls of segregation and all residents receive the respect and dignity they deserve.
The Systems We're Transforming
In pursuit of these goals, we will collaborate with others to identify and remove the root causes of structural racism across seven key systems that impact all our lives.