Combating Racism – Understanding Health Disparities

Large racial differences in health persist in the U.S. Eliminating these health disparities is another public health challenge of our time. Racial residential segregation is the cornerstone on which black-white disparities in health status have been built in the US. Racial groups characterized by legacies of social exclusion, economic disadvantage and political or geographic marginalization have worse...
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Combating Racism – Education

When I set out to learn more about systemic racism, I quickly realized how ignorant I was. Ignorant about how systemic racism came about, about how our laws enabled segregation, how we have perpetuated racism through the generations. The more I read, the more the books opened new areas of unawareness. For example, I learned that...
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Combating Racism – Have Uncomfortable Conversations

A recent rationale for not inviting a Black man to join a group of white women to discuss racism was:

“Black people shouldn’t have to do the work of educating whites about racism.”

The comment took me back to an early June article in The Washington Post entitled “I’m your Black friend, but I won’t educate you about...
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Combating Racism – Stamp Out Microaggressions

The biases I wrote about last week (here), can lead to microaggressions. Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward people of color. They have also been defined as “acts of disregard that stem...
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Combating Racism – Awareness of Bias

Explicit Biases

Explicit biases are those conscious attitudes and beliefs we have about a person, a group, or a situation. We are aware of these biases. An example of an explicit bias would be, “I hate Brussels sprouts.” (I don’t actually but I’m using that as an example) You can provide justifications for why you hate them, you can...
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Combating Racism – Understanding History Part 2

Last week I shared the ways that Jim Crow laws and discriminatory federal legislation created today’s systemic racism. Now I share some of the Supreme Court decisions and landmark legislation that ended Jim Crow laws and tried to eradicate, although unsuccessfully, the systemic racism created by our earlier history.

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Combating Racism – Understanding History

To combat racism, it is important to acknowledge our history and understand the ways it impacts our current realities. Systemic Racism (also called “institutional racism” and “structural racism”) refers to systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantage certain groups, in this case Black Americans. Systemic racism began with the colonization of this...
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Erasing Racism – Communication

Systematic change is necessary to create the equality that marginalized communities deserve. When it comes to tackling the issue of racial equity, honest, open-hearted and open-minded conversations can inform us about the fundamental issues related to racism, can help bridge the divides, can help us heal, and can begin the lengthy process of change. Communicating with empathy...
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Erasing Racism – Combating Homelessness

The impacts of the coronavirus have disproportionately impacted black Americans – higher rates of death, higher rates of unemployment – and now another drastic consequence is spreading: homelessness. The hardest hit are those Black Americans who had low incomes and little savings even before the pandemic, and who were also more likely to work in sectors...
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