Racism is a public health crisis

The killing of George Floyd and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on people of color are only the two latest examples of how structural racism can lead to devastating outcomes. Harvard Chan School stands together and is committed to helping fight this longstanding racism. The information and resources below highlight work from members of the Harvard Chan School community aimed at addressing racism and, ultimately, at helping shape a fairer, more just, and healthier world.

Black and white photo of young girl on her father's shoulders at a Black Lives Matter protest in Washington D.C.


A Statement from Dean Michelle A. Williams

“I can’t breathe.” That was George Floyd’s final plea before his life was taken by a police officer kneeling on his neck… the very same plea uttered by Eric Garner before he died at the hands of police in 2014. The Harvard Chan School community shares in the despair and outrage over these killings…
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Sections:

Op-edsNewsIn focusEvents


Op-eds

The COVID-19 pandemic shows why we must—and how we can—end racial injustice in health

By Chan School’s Howard Koh (TIME)

Racism is a public health issue

By Chan School Dean Michelle Williams (The Economist)

Racism is a deadly virus, too: A public health defense of these mass protests

By Chan School’s Mary Bassett, Caroline Buckee, and Nancy Krieger (New York Daily News)

Racism is killing black people. It’s sickening them, too.

By Chan School Dean Michelle Williams and Jeffrey Sánchez (Washington Post)

Protest, demand change — but, please, put on your mask

By Chan School’s Sara Bleich (The Hill)

Protecting hungry children during the fight for racial justice

Co-authored by Chan School’s Sara Bleich and Caroline Dunn (The Hill)

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News

Ending racial injustice in health

George Floyd’s death has magnified both the urgent need to end racism and, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the urgent need to end the racial injustice of health inequity in America, wrote Howard Koh of Harvard…

Could protests cause COVID-19 spikes? Tough to tell.

If coronavirus infections surge in the wake of protests against police brutality and racism, it won’t necessarily mean that the protests are what’s causing the increase. That’s because the protests have been happening around the same time that…

Racism can erode physical well-being

The chronic stress of experiencing discrimination can gradually erode people’s physical well-being over time, according to Mary Bassett, director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. Bassett was one of several experts…


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In focus

Q&A: COVID-19 pandemic highlights longstanding health inequities in U.S.

In the news, June 2020

America is Failing its Black Mothers

Harvard Public Health, Winter 2019

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Events

Racism as a traumatic stressor

Special event, June 2020

Voices in Leadership During Crises: Michelle Williams & Jeffery Sánchez

Voices in Leadership, June 2020

Mental Health and Wellness for Students of Color: Transitioning to College

The Forum, September 2019

The Spread of Hate and Racism: Confronting a Growing Public Crisis

The Forum, February 2019