In a JAMA opinion piece published last week, David Williams discussed how societal racial bias contributes to disparities in health care and health status. “The health care system cannot eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health,” wrote Williams. “Health care professionals need to collaborate with other sectors of society to increase awareness about the health implications of social policies in domains far removed from traditional medical and public health interventions.” Williams also was featured on the Harvard Chan School’s website, where he answered The Big 3 questions on racial disparities in health.
The ban of Donald Sterling from the NBA for racist comments has generated increased conversation about the presence and impact of racism in the U.S. The Harvard Pop Center’s affiliated faculty member sociologist David Williams is one of several experts who share their insights in this feature in The Montreal Gazette.
Until now, no public health study has examined South Africans’ experiences of human rights violations and smoking. The first paper to examine this relationship has just been published in Social Science & Medicine; Pop Center faculty members Ichiro Kawachi, Cassandra Okechukwu, and David Williams are co-authors. The results of their analysis suggest that smoking behaviors are more prevalent in South Africans who report that they have experienced violations of their human rights or who have a close relationship to others who experienced such violations.
Race adversely affects health regardless of socioeconomic level says David Williams, Pop Center faculty member, speaking of the need for greater racial justice at the recent conference: Overcoming Racism, Seeking Equity, Building Community.