Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Racism is a public health crisis. The Department of Public Health recognizes and is committed to responding to the devastating harms that racism, injustice, discrimination, colonialism, and police violence have on the safety and health of Black Americans and other communities of color. Social determinants of health, including racism-propelled adverse socioeconomic conditions, are key drivers of health disparities. The disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black and Latinx communities is just the latest example of how structural and systemic racism leads to devastating health outcomes.

Health is a fundamental human right for all people. Our department commits to upholding this right, applying rigorous science and designing evidence-based solutions to dismantle oppressive policies and systems that lead to racial disparities in health, and training future generations of diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist Public Health leaders.



"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 a Public Health Crisis

Anti-Racism Resources


Academic articles: 

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Additional Reading

Rodriguez-Diaz, C. E., Guilamo-Ramos, V., Mena, L., Hall, E., Honermann, B., Crowley, J. S., ... & Millett, G. A. (2020). Risk for COVID-19 infection and death among Latinos in the United States: examining heterogeneity in transmission dynamics. Annals of epidemiology52, 46-53.

Garcia, M. A., Homan, P. A., García, C., & Brown, T. H. (2020). The color of COVID-19: structural racism and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on older racial and ethnic minorities. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.

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Stop Racism

Book recommendations:

  • "Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People." by Banaji, Mahzarin R., and Greenwald, Anthony G. Bantam Books, 2016.
  • "Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul." by Glaude Jr, Eddie S. Crown, 2016.
  • "How to Be an Antiracist." by Kendi, Ibram X. One World, 2019.
  • "Latinos facing racism: Discrimination, resistance, and endurance." by Routledge. Feagin, J. R., & Cobas, J. A. 2015.
  • "Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race." by Wing Sue, Derald. Wiley. 2016.
  • "Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America." by Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006.
  • "So you want to talk about race?" by Oluo, Ijeoma. Seal Press. 2018
  • "Stamped from the beginning: The definitive history of racist ideas in America." by Kendi, Ibram X. Penguin Random House, 2017.
  • "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You." by Reynolds, Jason & Kendi, Ibram X. Little, Brown and Company. 2020.
  • "The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir." by Norris, Michele. Vintage, 2011. 
  • "When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir." by Khan-Cullors, Patrisse, Bandele, Asha, and Davis, Angela. St. Martin's Press, 2018


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  • “This Land.” hosted by Nagle, Rebecca. Crooked Media and Cadence 13. 2019. PodCast Stream.
  • Color Blind or Color Brave?
    In this TEDX talk, finance executive Mellody Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society.
  • PBS Series "Asian Americans"Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. Told through intimate personal stories, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played.


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