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New release from APHA Press brings discussion on racism to forefront

Date: Aug 19 2019

Contact: Arnice Cottom, 202-777-3913

Book builds on racial health equity gains in public health

Washington D.C., Aug. 19, 2019 — An important new book from APHA Press, "Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional", brings health equity to the forefront of the national dialogue on racism and acts as a driver for change.

The book explores racism's influence on U.S. institutions and policy, and highlights its manifestations in personal interactions. Commissioned by APHA Press and co-edited by a quartet of leaders in the field, the publication delves into structural and interpersonal forms of racism, offering health workers insights into the communities in which they work.

The book’s development was led by the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with support from the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University. In its two dozen chapters, diverse scholars delve into topics such as the health effects of racism, policing and mass incarceration, the lasting effects of segregation, and antiracism approaches.

"For decades, we have recognized that racism is a root cause of health inequities," said co-editor Derek M. Griffith, PhD, director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health and a professor of medicine, health and society at Vanderbilt University. "But the question has been, given the roles, responsibilities and scope of public health research and practice, how do we address racism and its effects on health?"

The book builds on the racial health equity work that public health advocates and others have long been involved in, noted the late William C. Jenkins, PhD, MPH, a renowned leader in minority health, in one of the publication’s forewords. The book, which intentionally emphasizes the word "racism" in its title, "marks an important shift in the field's antiracism struggle for racial health equity," Jenkins writes.

"For us not to use the term racism in the name of the book or not be bold and explicit about it would have felt like we were abdicating our responsibility," said co-editor Chandra Ford, MPH, PhD, MLIS, director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and an associate professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Community Health Sciences. "In honor of the work that people have done to get us to this point and cognizant of the moment that we're in within our society right now — where being timid about calling out racism is not going to advance the cause of equity — ultimately, we decided that we had a responsibility to be bold in talking about racism as a public health issue.”

The book is intended for use in a wide range of settings, including health departments and schools, and in the private, public and nonprofit sectors where public health professionals work. The book is also beneficial for students, as it serves as a practical reference text for courses and workshops.

"Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional" can serve as a bridge, according to the co-editors, connecting public health professionals, students, community members and policymakers on a topic that is one of the nation’s most pressing public health issues. Co-editors of the book also include Marino A. Bruce, PhD, MSRC, MDiv, CRC, a research associate professor of medicine, health and society at Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University and Keon L. Gilbert, DrPH, department of behavioral science & health education in the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University.

ISBN: 978-0-87553-303-2, 616 pages. List price: $75, plus handling, APHA member price: $52.50. To order, call toll-free 888-320-APHA, email apha@pbd.com or visit www.aphabookstore.org. Review copy requests should be sent by email to David Hartogs.


APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public's health. Visit us at www.apha.org.