Racism and Health

APHA supports National Day of Racial Healing

"Racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call "race"), that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources." --APHA Past President Camara Jones, MD, PhD, MPH

boy woman man and another woman

Racism structures opportunity and assigns value based on how a person looks. The result: conditions that unfairly advantage some and unfairly disadvantage others. Racism hurts the health of our nation by preventing some people the opportunity to attain their highest level of health.

Racism may be intentional or unintentional. It operates at various levels in society. Racism is a driving force of the social determinants of health (like housing, education and employment) and is a barrier to health equity.  

To achieve health equity and create the Healthiest Nation in One Generation, we must address injustices caused by racism. We must support actions at all levels to ensure equal opportunity for all.

MORE ON RACISM AND HEALTH

Historic lynching tied to mortality today (from APHA's The Nation's Health)

Why ending police violence is a public health issue: A Q & A with APHA's Georges Benjamin (APHA member login required)

APHA's Georges Benjamin on Severe weather disasters, health & structural racism: a critical intersection

From CNN: Charlottesville, hate crimes are public health issue, experts say 

APHA's four-part webinar series, The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation

AJPH editorial: "Black Lives Matter: A Commentary on Racism and Public Health"

RESOURCES AND TOOLS

APHA Policy Statements
American Journal of Public Health
Current Initiatives and Resource Guides
Public Health Newswire
Articles
Publications

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Annual Report (2015). FOR 2016, LET’S REVIVE THE PASSION FOR RACIAL EQUITY A letter from La June Montgomery Tabron, President & CEO of W.K. Kellogg Foundation

W.K. Kellogg Foundation & The Altarum Institute (2013). The Business Case for Racial Equity

Institute of Medicine (2003). Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America (2009). Race and Socioeconomic Factors Affect Opportunities for Better Health

The Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change (2004). Structural Racism and Community Building

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies & PolicyLink (2004). Building Stronger Communities for Better Health

Audio and Video
National Data and Useful Links

From APHA Press

cover of Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional

Battling Racism

Camara Jones on TV interview

Black Lives Matter

thumbnail of AJPH commentary