Miami Downtown, FL, USA - MAY 31, 2020: Woman leading a group of demonstrators on road protesting for human rights and against racism.

Understanding the Role of Race in Health

Structural racism pervades all facets of society, from education, to housing, to law enforcement.  The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the health disparities that result from this systemic and structural racism.

The Petrie-Flom Center has asked leading scholars in law, public health, history, sociology, and other fields to explore these issues for a digital symposium on the Bill of Health blog. The focus of the symposium is to unpack how critical race theories and other strands of racial justice scholarship can inform health care, public health, and other areas of law to improve health outcomes among minorities.

Follow the conversation and share the articles in this symposium using #RaceandHealth.

Miami Downtown, FL, USA - MAY 31, 2020: Woman leading a group of demonstrators on road protesting for human rights and against racism.
Through social movement advocacy and engagement, BIPOC can create their own narrative of medical need and activism.
Police cars.
Improving the health of local communities involves rethinking the laws that govern how police interact with the people they serve.
Close-up of a stethoscope on an American flag
Among the most salient lessons to be learned from the coronavirus pandemic is that justice is just plain good for
Police car.
About 1.5 million Black men are missing from daily life because of health challenges, economic instability, and over-policing.
doctor holding clipboard.
Existing forms of racism or subordination may shape the design of social interventions and impact of risk targeting in harmful
Racism has repeatedly stymied progress toward the good governance of necessities. Anti-racism, therefore, must be at the core of any
(Institute for the feeble-minded, Lincoln, Ill. / Library of Congress)
In just three sentences, Justice Holmes delivers a message that has lasted through today: some lives matter more than others.
an ambulance parked at the entrance of an emergency department
BIPOC are either subject to hypervisibility, or medical erasure, where their medical needs are left unaddressed and ignored.
computer and stethoscope
While telehealth may be a panacea for access to healthcare, particularly in COVID times, we should be concerned that patients
Minneapolis, MN / USA - May 26 2020: Black Lives Matter,
Medical neocolonialism does not exist in a vacuum. It is tied to the presumed expendability of Black life.
lady justice.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the tradeoffs at stake for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) seeking reliable health
Empty classroom.
Too often, policies and practices in schools that create and compound health inequities are narrated as falling outside health law
During the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of trying to extinguish racist attitudes, the Trump administration has spearheaded ways to “other” Asian
redlined map of Los Angeles.
Social, economic, and environmental factors account for the vast majority of health outcomes. And housing encompasses many of these factors.
Debates exist over whether structural racism is a social determinant of health, and whether dismantling it is within the scope
Medicine law concept. Gavel and stethoscope on book close up
Considering the cross-cutting nature of racism as a social determinant of health, medical-legal partnerships can and should address it directly.
Man holds up a sign at the Black Lives Matter protest in Washington DC 6/6/2020.
Scholarship on the social determinants of health is missing an account of how communities change the legal environments that produce
Syringe and vials of vaccine.
African Americans know, perhaps the most, what it means to be the first to be heavily recruited yet neglected by
Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. Film negative by photographer Warren K. Leffler, 1963. From the U.S. News & World Report Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. Photograph shows a procession of African Americans carrying signs for equal rights, integrated schools, decent housing, and an end to bias. https://www.loc.gov/item/2003654393/
Government and public health officials must aggressively work to end structural racism and revise laws that create racial inequalities.
New York City, New York / USA - June 13 2020 New York City healthcare workers during coronavirus outbreak in America.
On the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic response, there is an often forgotten workforce that is largely Black and
Woman holding sign that reads
Racism in health care, expressed through implicit and explicit biases, is the ultimate form of suffocation.
Close-up Of Doctor's Hand Measuring Blood Pressure Of Male Patient.
Today, medicine and the health care system embody discourses of power that rival the law. Will these discourses inevitably serve

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