WEEK 4: PUBLIC HEALTH

TODAY'S CHALLENGE:
HISTORICAL RACISM AND BIAS IN MEDICINE


The exploitation and brutalization of people of color by doctors and medical providers is one of America's most tragic and largely untold stories. According to Evelynn Hammonds, a historian of science at Harvard University, “There has never been any period in American history where the health of Blacks was equal to that of Whites. Disparity is built into the system.”

African-American patients tend to receive lower-quality health services, including cancer, H.I.V., prenatal care, and preventive care. African-American men, in particular, have the worst health outcomes of any major demographic group. In part, research shows, this is a result of mistrust from a legacy of discrimination.

Thanks to the work of people like Harriet Washington, author of Medical Apartheid , there is a new willingness to grapple with the impact of this trauma. Recognizing past injustices is the first step toward a more equitable future.


“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
- James Baldwin

WE CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE...

Watch this video about the history of institutional racism in American medicine, and learn how racist 18th-century beliefs and practices are still leading to adverse health outcomes for people of color.
Listen to this podcast about the United States Supreme Court ruling, Buck v. Bell. This ruling institutionalized the racist eugenics movement and led to 70,000 forced sterilizations of people of color and individuals with physical and mental disabilities.
Read this article about how racist stereotypes led to approximately 20,000 people – many of them Latinx – being forcibly sterilized in California and how this is echoed in the political landscape today. 
PUBLIC HEALTH
WEEKLY ACTION ALERT

LEVEL 1 :   Talk to your company/organization's Human Resources department about their parental leave policy and other systems in place to support new parents.

LEVEL 2 :  Write a letter to your local elected officials urging them to declare racism a public health crisis.

LEVEL 3 : Join Your Neighbor's Hood Podcast and Volunteer Hampton Roads in an effort to build relationships and continue the conversation around race by hosting Just Dinner .

JOIN THE  21 DAY CHALLENGE FACEBOOK GROUP   FOR CONVERSATIONS WITH FELLOW PARTICIPANTS