Activating Relationships in Illinois for Systemic Equity (ARISE)

Photo credit to Stacy Wegley


What is ARISE?

ARISE (Activating Relationships in Illinois for Systemic Equity) is an opportunity for motivated urban and rural communities outside of Cook County that have experienced historic and present-day inequities in the context of COVID-19 to advance community resilience, sustainability, well-being, and equity.


Using frameworks, such as Pathways to Population Health Equity, ARISE supports communities to build a strategy to: 


  • Improve the mental, physical, social and spiritual health and well-being of communities experiencing equity gaps in the context of COVID-19.

  • Address underlying vital community conditions, such as access to meaningful work and wealth, humane housing, and reliable transportation, that perpetuate health inequities.

  • Address root causes of health inequities, such as racism and an inequitable economy. 

  • Building civic capacity and infrastructure for long-term systemic change.

What is Health Equity?

According to the CDC, health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.” The pandemic has highlighted that despite bright spots, gaps in health, relationships, and trust are large. 


Pathways to Population Health Equity (P2PHE) helps you to fill this gap.  Pathways to Population Health Equity offers a framework, roadmaps, compass, and associated tools for public health change agents to build equitable, resilient, and thriving communities. 

What ARISE Communities Will Do


"Illinois is stepping forward as an innovator in strategically advancing health equity in the context of this award. By partnering with communities experiencing inequities, by investing in civic capacity and underlying conditions for systemic change, Illinois is charting a path toward becoming a state where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential for health and life. WE in the World is honored to be walking alongside Illinois communities on this journey.”

"Public health has a distinct role in walking alongside our communities to tackle and address the root causes of health inequity, While these inequities have been brought into stark contrast by the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities, we know that there are solutions that can be applied. The heart of this project is to uplift local voices and develop local solutions in a way that will provide sustainable improvements to health and well-being for our Illinois communities.”


Somava Saha
Executive Lead of WE in the World

Amaal V.E. Tokars.jpg

Dr. Amaal Tokars
IDPH Acting Director


Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which is one of Illinois’ oldest agencies, was first organized in 1877 with a staff of three and a two-year budget of $5,000. IDPH, now has an annual budget of $2.9 billion in state and federal funds, headquarters in Springfield and Chicago, seven regional offices located around the state, three laboratories, and 1,200 employees.

IDPH is organized into 12 offices, each of which addresses a distinct area of public health. Each office operates and supports numerous ongoing programs and is prepared to respond to extraordinary situations as they arise.

Mission Statement

The Illinois Department of Public Health is an advocate for and partner with the people of Illinois to re-envision health policy and promote health equity, prevent and protect against disease and injury, and prepare for health emergencies.