Activating Relationships in Illinois for Systemic Equity (ARISE)

Awardee Announcement

Photo credit to Stacy Wegley


ARISE to Support 19 Coalitions to Address  COVID and Community Inequities

SPRINGFIELD- The COVID pandemic has worsened persistent inequities in health and life outcomes in communities of color and rural areas. In response to the need to change underlying conditions in communities of color, low-income and rural areas, Activating Relationships in Illinois for Systemic Equity (ARISE) initiative was launched by the  Illinois Department of Public Health Center for Minority Health Services in collaboration with the Center for Rural Health, and Well-being and Equity (WE) in the World.


Through the ARISE initiative 12 community collaborations and their associated health department will receive up to $135,000 to address and implement a health equity strategy in the context of COVID-19.

Community Coalitions select for this funding are:

  • Lake County’s Black and Brown Coalition for Health Equity (Lake)

  • Engaging Alton for Equity (Madison)

  • Immigrant Cooperative (Champaign)

  • Clay County Health 4 Generations Coalition (Clay)

  • Arise for Will County (Will)

  • East Central Illinois Rural Healthcare Consortium (Ford & Iroquois)

  • Quincy ARISE Coalition (Adams)

  • School District Addiction Counseling Coalition (Kankakee)

  • Unity Kitchen (Sangamon)

  • Effingham Health Committee (Effingham), and

  • Juntos (McHenry). 

Additionally, the following 7 organizations were selected to receive microgrants in the amount of $10,000 to make progress in their health equity work:

  • Junior Medic LLC (Will)

  • YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago (Lake)

  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, Kappa Sigma Zeta Chapter (Sangamon)

  • Coordinated Care Alliance (Multiple Counties)

  • Rainbow Cafe (Multiple Counties)

  • Community Unit School District 300 (Kane & McHenry), and

  • Islamic Alliance to Advance Health Equity in Lake County (IHEAL) (Lake). 

These ARISE community collaborations will engage in a 10-month intensive “learning-and-doing” program designed to assist communities to achieve unprecedented results in improving the health and well-being of people and the community-at-large, closing equity gaps in adult vaccinations, and building the civic capacity and infrastructure for more systemic change. 


Somava Saha, Executive Lead of WE in the World explained: “We have found that supporting trusted community groups who are from and know these communities is the best way to reach and address racial and economic barriers to health and well-being outcomes. Many 


Of these organizations are trusted but nontraditional--Divine Nine sororities, artists-activists, faith communities, community organizers who got out the vote who are now getting out the vaccine alongside health departments.  These local organizations know best how to reach their neighbors and friends -- with support, they can help to chart a path toward longer term healing and resilience in areas that have been hit hardest.”


“IDPH with funding from the CDC, is pleased to support this innovative approach to addressing the root causes of health inequities at the population level. The ARISE initiative recognizes communities as vital partners in creating strategies, policies, and systems that foster sustainability and ensure that communities thrive” said (IDPH 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.