We hope to see you in Atlanta, November 12–15 for the 2023 American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting. This year’s theme is Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social & Ethical Challenges.

NOTE: All sessions are listed in Eastern Time.


Sunday November 12, 2023

2:30 PM–4:00 PM EST

Embedding equity and implementing a continuous equity improvement cycle for a large city health department

Ruben Cantu will share lessons and frameworks drawn from PI’s ongoing partnership with the Houston Health Department (HHD) to advance actions that strategically embed and strengthen health equity and racial justice through HHD’s internal and external practices, policies, and programs. As the public health authority for one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in the nation, HHD is well-positioned to leverage its vast network of programs, personnel, and resources to optimize internal coordination for improved public health outcomes that address equity. The session will include a presentation on a framework for embedding equity and continuous equity improvement and lessons learned along the path, including results of HHD’s equity self-assessment.


Monday November 13, 2023

2:30 PM–4:00 PM EST

Elevating racial justice principles in violence prevention: Implications for evidence-based decision-making, research, and evaluation

Ruben Cantu will present a framework of racial justice principles to prevent violence and promote community safety. Core to these principles is the importance for racial justice to be embedded, measured, and incentivized for urgency and accountability. The session will describe the need for a more expansive and inclusive understanding of evidence; will define three types of evidence: contextual, experiential, and research-based; and highlight examples of community safety initiatives drawing on multiple forms of evidence to advance community safety through racial justice.


Wednesday November 15, 2023

8:30 AM–10:00 AM

A participatory trust-building model for conducting COVID-19 vaccination research with Rural and Urban Native American, Black, and Latinx communities in New Mexico

PI board member Lisa Cacari Stone will discuss the historically overlooked role of trust and cultural differences among communities of color, which has resulted in ineffective communication strategies about health research at all stages, including survey recruitment, study enrollment and multi-year study retention. This presentation will also discuss the role of the Community-based Participatory Research approach, to leverage long-standing relationships and trust-building strategies among Black, Indigenous, and Latinx partnerships.

10:30 AM–12:00 PM

People, parks, and power: Community power building to advance health equity and environmental justice

Grace Cotangco will present on People, Parks, and Power (P3), the first national funding initiative in the U.S. to support power building by community-based organizations to reverse park and green space inequities in Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, P3 supports fourteen organizations from diverse backgrounds with experience in community organizing and power building. The session will describe how the P3 initiative is supporting upstream systems change and community power building to advance environmental justice, community empowerment, and health equity.