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Webinar -- Unequal Health Systems: Anti-Black Racism and the Threat to American Health


Journalism events

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Racial and ethnic minorities in America experience a lower quality of health services, and are less likely to receive even routine medical procedures than are white Americans, a seminal report led by Brian Smedley, Ph.D., concluded in 2003. Nearly two decades since that damning Institute of Medicine finding, the fundamental problems of systemic racism in the U.S. health care system remain unchanged, just one aspect of a much broader American story. The tragic deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color have brought these disparities to the forefront of the national conversation, and prompted new and overdue conversations about the role of racism in damaging the health of Black (and indeed, all) Americans. A growing number of governments have joined the CDC in declaring racism a public health crisis, and research is illuminating how racism operates not just at interpersonal levels, but also at institutional and structural levels, through laws, policies, and systems that help create and maintain Black disadvantage. This webinar will share examples of how racism operates in health care systems, and how health disparities are compounded by structural forces such as residential segregation. Taken together, these forces ultimately erode Black health and hurt all Americans. The discussion will also feature examples of promising strategies to mitigate against these forces.

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