While dramatic improvements in public health have been made over the last 30 years, differences in life expectancy across racial groups, as well as income brackets, have increased. Poor people and people of color continue to bear the brunt of some of our most persistent public health challenges. Health disparities reflect deeper inequalities and injustices, and progress on the leading challenges to public health in the United States will not be made without an explicit focus on the inequities that plague our nation’s communities. Broadening the lens by looking not only at issues that directly impact health, but also at upstream root causes of health disparities, will allow us to more adequately address complex public health challenges.