The Alliance for Health Equity Kicks off Cohort 3 of the Nonprofit Justice and Equity Institute

Posted by Alyssa Kotzmann
On February 12, 2024

On January 25, 2024, The Alliance for Health Equity launched its third cohort of the Nonprofit Justice and Equity Institute (NJEI). The NJEI is a series of learning workshops designed to support the nonprofit sector with their commitment to recognize and mitigate deeply rooted inequities experienced by its most marginalized community members. In its third cohort, eight participating organizations will spend six months advancing their understanding about systemic inequities and will co-create an accountable plan designed which guides the participating organizations to sustainably solve complex community issues through an equity lens.  

In partnership with the Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC (TDB Group), the NJEI assists Greater Philadelphia nonprofit organizations in their commitment to deeper understanding of concepts towards transforming organizational culture and practices through assessing their institutional programming and practices to determine short and long-term solutions that build the required capacities. 

“While we know there is, at present, a partisan politicization against equity focused justice, our on-the-ground nonprofit institutions live in the statistical realities of structural harm and continued injustices of real people in real-life circumstances beyond anecdotes. This program helps organizations see beyond partisan tropes and even beyond race alone and into a deeper understanding of the opportunity towards wholeness we all have when we see the realities and barriers placed in front of our fellow human siblings regardless skin color, intellectual or physical abilities, gender identities, sexual orientations, etc.” said The Alliance for Health Equity CEO, Kevin M. Ressler.   

The NJEI believes in the importance of responding to people and society justly and equitably through strategies that build communities for long-term success. The goal of the NJEI is to build the nonprofit sectors’ capacity to embed social justice and racial equity throughout its decision-making and operations. 

Strategies include: 

  • Understanding the historical context of racial and social inequities and the impact on the community 
  • Participating in capacity building coaching to advance justice and equity learning and action 
  • Creating an organizational blueprint that centers justice and equity to sustain learning and accountability of the organization and the community 

Over the next six months, nonprofit organizations serving Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County will work together as Cohort three of the NJEI begins (names listed below). Executives, Board members, and managers from each organization will attend six sessions and participate in six hours of capacity-building coaching. Each organization previously completed a readiness assessment to determine the stage in equitable practices and programs currently implemented to accurately guide each upcoming workshop. 

The nonprofits will participate in learning sessions focused on (1) justice and equity leadership, (2) why race and justice matter, (3) the intersectionality of social, health, and economic factors, and (4) accountability to the community. The final component of the learning sessions provides an opportunity for each nonprofit to develop a customized Justice and Equity blueprint that will help each organization address internal and external systemic inequities. Following the Cohort, each organization will receive ongoing evaluation and follow-up to ensure their learned equitable practices are being implemented.  

This year’s NJEI participants include Chester County Head Start, Achieve Now, Maternal and Child Health Consortium, Arts Holding Hands and Hearts, Camp Dreamcatcher, Kennett Area Community Service, Thistle Hills, Inc., and the Montgomery Child Advocate Project (MCAP).  

The impactful work that the NJEI is doing to alleviate inequities and community health disparities in the sector is made possible because of the understanding and investment by these Chester County funders: CCCF Grantmaking Fund for Chester County Social Justice, Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, The Nelson Foundation, The Alliance for Health Equity, The Fund for Women and Girls, and United Way of Chester County. To learn more about this important work, please visit The Alliance for Health Equity’s website at 

The Alliance for Health Equity is a place-based nonprofit organization who serves the geographic region of the Coatesville Area School District. Formed as a health conversion foundation, the organization utilizes its strategic priorities of Integrated Health, Healthy Environments, and Community Voice to advance a more equitable, resilient and healthy Greater Coatesville community. To date, The Alliance for Health Equity distributed over $21 million dollars to Coatesville serving nonprofit and grassroots organizations, developed and scaled various programs relating to nonprofit capacity, youth development, and racial/social equity, and built ChesPenn Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Coatesville. Learn more about The Alliance for Health Equity at