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Boston REACH Coalition

​​​Did you know that the health of Black and Latino people in Boston is often worse than the health of people of other races?

Black and Latino Bostonians are more likely to get sick from diabetes and asthma and have higher rater of death from cancer and heart disease compared to other races. Many of us know people who have these and other preventable illnesses. The Boston REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health)Coalition is working to close gaps in racial and ethnic health inequities and is led by the Boston Public Health Commission in partnership with community residents, health care providers, health experts, businesses and faith based leaders. The Coalition's mission is to eliminate racial and ethnic health inequities in the city Boston through community education and policy and systems change.

The mission of the Boston REACH Coalition is to promote health equity and eliminate racial and ethnic health inequities in the city of Boston.

The Boston REACH Coalition is working towards health equity: where all residents of Boston have access to the same opportunities regardless of race and people's chances of living a healthy life will not be determined by their racial background. Health equity benefits everyone in the city by improving conditions of homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

As we work towards health equity, we are committed to living out the values of:
  • Relationship building and collaboration
  • Commitment to racial justice and social change
  • Capacity building for individuals and communities
  • Involving and informing public officials
  • Integrity and accountability in our internal and external processes and outcomes
  • Model and promote healthy behaviors 

How We Do Our Work
We aim to play three roles in the community:

  • Weaving a network of people and organizations to promote health equity through community, system and policy level change
  • Educating and building skills around healthy living and self advocacy
  • Building awareness of health equity and racism
  • Coalition members goals are to be:

Goal A

    • Taking personal action to making healthy choices, taking charge of their own health.
    • Sharing what they've learned about issues with family, friends and other community members.

Goal B

    • An expanding core of coalition members is actively educating community members and organizations in formal and informal settings about the connections between racial justice, health equity and social determinants of health.

Goal C

    • Coalition members are actively engaged in policy, community systems and program level changes throughout the city to promote health equity.

Goal D

    • The coalition is a diverse network of individuals and organizations that are communicating regularly and working together to promote health equity 

Boston REACH Coalition Meetings

  • Happen every first Monday of the month (since 1999!). [Note: There is no meeting in the month of August.]
  • 5:30pm-8:00pm
  • Located at the Grove Hall Community Center
  • Meetings focus on the Coalition's strategic plan implementation and education for its members about racial justice and health equity issues in the city of Boston
  • Meetings are open to the public.
Racial Justice and Health Equity Workshop Series
The Racial Justice and Health Equity workshop series is designed as an educational series for community members and community-based organizations focused on exploring the impact that racism has on health through the exploration of social determinants such as: housing, food access, education justice, and unemployment and under-employment. The series will be running from May 2014 until October 2014. View our series schedule below.

September 8th, 2014 - Education Justice
Our system of mass public education does not work equally for everyone. Those with poor academic performance are likely to have lower educational attainment. This decreases upward mobility and affects a person's health status. Share your experiences and learn about the impact that education has on health.

October 6th, 2014 - Employment Justice
Stress from being unemployed or under-employed can take a toll on our physical health. Learn how Boston is doing with creating employment justice and share best practices.


REACH Obesity and Hypertension Grant
The REACH Coalition along with the Harvard School of Public Health, the YMCA, and various community based organizations and coalitions, is a key partner in the Obesity and Hypertension Demonstration Project. The Obesity and Hypertension Demonstration project is a three-year project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Amongst Black and Latino residents, it aims to decrease consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, increase water consumption, decrease inequities in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, and increase the number of public access points for tap water in organizational and community venues.

The REACH Coalition aims to do this through the implementation of four key interventions listed below:
Out of School Time Initiative​
Healthy Food and Beverage Initiati​ve​
Community Physical Activity Initiative
Clinical Hypertension


REACH Coalition Steering Committee
The REACH Coalition elects eight Steering Committee members and two Co-Chairs every two years. Steering committee members take an active role at Coalition meetings and, in addition to BPHC's Center for Health Equity and Social Justice, provide both leadership and guidance to the Coalition's work. 

Steering Committee Members
  • Nyjah Wyche-Alexis (Co-Chair)
  • Angela Hall-Jones (Co-Chair)
  • Beverly-Ann Rock (Grant Liaison)
  • Carolyn Jackson (Steering Committee)
  • Carolyn Barnes (Steering Committee)
  • Valerie Inniss-Bertrand (Community Coordinator)

REACH Coalition YouTube video

For more information about the REACH Coalition, contact or check out the REACH Facebook page.​

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: