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Three teen girls smiling and looking at camera. Racial Equity & Social Justice challenge logo in bottom-left corner.
Today's topic: Historical Racism and Bias in Medicine
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” - James Baldwin

The history of the exploitation and brutalization of people of color by doctors and others in the medical field is one of America's most tragic and largely untold stories. 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. Knowing our past is the first step towards a more equitable future.
Watch this video about the history of institutional racism in American medicine and how racist 18th-century beliefs and practices are still leading to adverse health outcomes for people of color today, especially for Black women.
Listen to this podcast about the United States Supreme Court ruling, Buck v. Bell , that institutionalized the racist eugenics movement and led to 70,000 forced sterilizations of people of color and people with physical and mental disabilities.
Read this article about how racist stereotypes led to approximately 20,000 people – many of them Latino/a – being forcibly sterilized in California and how this is echoed in the political landscape today. 
Level I: Many neighborhoods in the Twin Cities are now food and supply deserts after local stores were destroyed or temporarily closed due to damage sustained during recent protests. These closures disproportionately impact communities of Black, Indigenous and other people of color and negatively affect the health of residents who struggle to obtain food and basic supplies. Consider picking up and donating extra groceries or supplies the next time you shop and use this map as a resource to find where urgent needs exist and drop-off locations near you.
Level II: The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid time off to new parents, resulting in one in four new mothers here going back to work within two weeks of giving birth—while caring for a newborn and recovering from the physical and mental strains of delivery. Contact your legislators and your company’s human resources department to advocate for policies that support new parents.
Level III: Write to your local elected officials and urge them to declare racism a public health crisis. If you live in Hennepin County, which passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis late last month, thank your representative for passing this resolution and advocate for implementation of policies that improve the health outcomes for people of color.
Please join our work to eliminate racism, empower women and strengthen families and communities. Your contribution will support our racial justice initiatives and invest in the success of adults and youth overcoming disparities in housing, employment and educational achievement. Thank you for helping us continue to provide life-changing services.
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