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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Op-edsNewsIn focusEvents


To tobacco companies, Black lives don’t matter

By Chan School’s Mary T. Bassett and Sandra Mullin (The Hill)

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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Harvard Chan School joins effort to close racial wealth gap

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is partnering with leading organizations from across the business, nonprofit, philanthropy, and academic sectors on a new initiative aimed at combatting the 90% racial wealth gap between Black and white Americans.…

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In focus

Q&A: Turning the words ‘racism is a public health crisis’ into action

Featured news, June 2020

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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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