Health professionals must challenge those who benefit from hate, inequity

Public health professionals must expose and challenge individuals, organizations, and political parties who directly benefit from hate and inequity, wrote Nancy Krieger, professor of social epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in an opinion piece for the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Read more about Krieger's BMJ piece

How racism impacts health

BassettPublic health professionals must not be afraid to use the word “racism” when they see health inequities linked to issues like poverty, segregation, and lack of access to care, Mary Travis Bassett, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told an audience at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Read more about how racism can impact health.

'Covering' to fit in and get ahead

Kenji YoshinoLegal scholar and gay Asian American Kenji Yoshino spoke with Harvard Chan School staff, students, and faculty about his research and writings that examine the ways people “cover” or downplay those aspects of their identities that are based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, in an effort to “fit in” and get ahead professionally and personally.

Read more about Yoshino's presentation.

Racial violence has long roots in the past

Melissa NoblesRacially motivated violence in the U.S.—including the horrific shooting deaths of nine people in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina—is deeply connected with a violent past that stretches back to the Reconstruction Era, according to Melissa Nobles of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an expert in racial and ethnic politics.

Read more about Nobles' Q&A event.

An invisible evil

Structural racism is often called an invisible evil because it's so pervasive, but also hidden in some ways. It involves interconnected institutions—housing, education, health care—that foster discrimination against racial groups. And this structural racism can play a role in health disparities across the United States. In this podcast we speak about structural racism and its health effects with Zinzi Bailey, ScD, '14, director of research and evaluation in the Center for Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Bailey was recently co-author on a paper in the Lancet, that explored the history of structural racism and health inequities in the United States, and also ways to combat this discrimination moving forward.

Read the full Lancet paper and see a transcript of the podcast.

How labeling affects health and quality of life

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The issue of labeling — whether by gender, race, sexual preference, criminal record, or medical diagnosis — and its repercussions on health and quality of life was a topic of the dLOV (Different Lenses, One Vision) conference.

Read more about the dLOV conference.

A public health lens on police-associated violence

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 3.48.08 PMIn 2014, the police killings of three unarmed African-American males sparked a national conversation on police brutality and on endemic racism in U.S. society. Biostatistician Melody Goodman, SM ’03, PhD ’06, assistant professor in the division of public health sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, focuses her work on the social risk factors behind health disparities. She spoke recently with Madeline Drexler, editor of Harvard Public Health.

Read the Q&A

Trends in U.S. deaths from legal interventions

trends in deathsA study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that, over the past 50 years, the risk of a young black man in the U.S. dying due to law enforcement action ranged from at least 3 to 10 times higher than the risk for a young white man. Read the story.

Understanding slavery’s legacy in health and medicine

The legacy of slavery was the focus at the Slavery & Public Health: Past, Present, and Future symposium at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The event grew out of efforts by Harvard University to uncover its links to slavery.

Read more about the symposium

Racial bias and its effect on health care

David WilliamsEliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health in the U.S. isn’t just the job of the health care sector—it’s the job of society as a whole, argues David R. Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health.

Read the interview with David Williams.