The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation

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Stigma, inequalities and civil rights injustices remain in our society today.* Unfortunately, skin color plays a large part in how people are viewed, valued and treated. We know that racism, both intentional and unintentional, affects the health and well-being of individuals and communities and stifles the opportunity of many to contribute fully to the future and growth of this nation. Join the leadership of the American Public Health Association in a webinar series about racism's impact on health and disparities.

NEW: The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation: A Webinar Guide (PDF) provides a summary of each webinar in the 2015 series, speaker presentations and resources mentioned. These webinars provide a foundation on racism as a public health issue. We encourage review of the 2015 series before viewing the Advancing Racial Equity webinar series.

Webinar # 1 | Naming and Addressing Racism:  A Primer
Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, and Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD

This kick-off webinar featuring APHA’s executive director, president and president-elect looked at some of the nation’s leading health inequities. APHA President Shiriki Kumanyika discussed how racism is one of the most challenging tools of social stratification we face when trying to improve the health of the public. She also reflected on the evidence and research needs related to how racism limits our ability to make America the healthiest nation. APHA President-Elect Camara Jones will told the Gardener's Tale and presented a framework for understanding racism on three levels. This framework is useful for understanding the basis for race-associated differences in health, designing effective interventions to eliminate those differences and engaging in a national conversation. 

Webinar slides (all are downloadable PDFs): IntroductionPart 1Part 2Part 3Conclusion

Webinar #2 | No Safety, No Health: A Conversation About Race, Place and Preventing Violence
Linda Deguitis, DrPH, MSN, Howard Penderhughes, PhD, Benita Tsao, MPH, Marc Philpart, MPA, MPH, and Sheila Svannah, MA

Community violence is a preventable public health issue and shaped by many factors, including racism. Violence impacts our overall health and well-being and prevents communities from realizing their full potential. 

Hear from APHA Past President Linda Degutis, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Howard Pinderhughes of UC San Francisco, Policy Link, and the Prevention Institute for an important discussion about race, place and preventing violence. We explored the role of public health in preventing this epidemic and the value of engaging many sectors in the solution 

View the webinar slides (all are PDF): IntroductionPart 1Part 2Part 3Conclusion

Webinar #3 | Unequal Treatment: Disparities in Access, Quality and Care
Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH, FACP, Michelle van Ryn, PhD, LMFT, MPH, and Brian Smedley, PhD

The Affordable Care Act has led to expansions in health insurance coverage. But racial and ethnic minorities still are more likely to have unequal access, receive poorer quality care and have worse health outcomes. These health disparities threaten our nation’s health. 

Join APHA Past President and social justice advocate Linda Rae Murray, Brian Smedley, co-founder and executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity and Michelle van Ryn, director of the Research Program on Equity and Quality in Healthcare Encounters for a timely discussion. They talked about how the levels of racism play out within the health care system, unconscious bias in health care and what’s being done to address those inequities to improve the public’s health. 


Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH, FACP, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois School of Public Health

Brian Smedley, PhD, co-founder and executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, study director of the landmark report "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care"

Michelle van Ryn, PhD, LMFT, MPH, professor of health services research at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, director of the Research Program on Equity and Quality in Healthcare Encounters 

View the webinar slides (all are PDF): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Webinar #4 | Racism: The Silent Partner in High School Dropout and Health Disparities
Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, CPH, Robert Murphy, MEd, and Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD

Across this country, more than 50 million students will attend public elementary and high schools this fall. Yet only two-thirds of African American and fewer than three-quarters of Latino students will graduate on time. Also, more than half of all students attending public school live in poverty.

Barriers to high school graduation are a key public health concern because high school graduation is a leading indicator of healthy adult behaviors and health status. 

APHA Past President Adewale Troutman led this discussion on the significance of high school graduation to health disparities. And Robert Murphy, former teacher, assistant principal and dropout prevention specialist, examined how current policies and practices in educational systems disproportionately impact students of color and ultimately contribute to disproportionate dropout rates. APHA President-Elect Camara Jones will spoke about residential segregation, the educational achievement gap and action steps related to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Join public health leaders as they examine their role in providing the leadership to improve high school graduation rates and dismantling the policies and practices that undermine educational success and health. 

View the webinar slides (all are PDF): Part 1Part 2Part 3