Racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now
APHA calls out police violence as a public health crisis
WHAT IS RACISM?
"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 Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD
Racism is undeniably a public health issue (APHA's Georges Benjamin in Popular Science)
"We need to change things so that we value all people equally." (Benjamin on PBS News Hour)
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.
How do we do that? Through racial healing (#RxRacialHealing). That means using a healing and heart-centered approach to get rid of the false belief that any people are superior to others based on their skin color.
MORE ON RACISM AND HEALTH
APHA webinar series: Advancing Racial Equity
Declarations of racism as a public health issue
From APHA Press: Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional
APHA policy statement: Addressing Police Violence as a Public Health Issue
Letter to Congress in support of H.R. 7120, The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 (PDF)
Aggressive Policing and the Mental Health of Young Urban Men (from APHA's American Journal of Public Health)
Racism can shape decisions to practice in underserved communities (from APHA's The Nation's Health)
APHA President Pam Aaltonen: "Let's respond to this growing problem by examining hatred and racism through a public health lens."
Testifying before the Helsinki Commission, Gail Christopher details innovative approach toward eliminating racism and facilitating healing in the United States
Programs work from within to prevent black maternal deaths: Workers targeting root cause — Racism (from APHA's The Nation's Health)
Achieving environmental justice in the 21st century: The way forward (APHA/National Environmental Health Partnership Council webinar)
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 supports National Day of Racial Healing (APHA news release)
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