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Health Equity in the Face of Change: Tools for a National Campaign Against Racism

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Date Developed: 5/22/2017. Source: Region IV Public Health Training Center. Presenter(s): Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD. Type: Webinar. Level: Intermediate. Length: 90 minutes.


This webinar inspires participants to stategize to act on three dimensions of health intervention, three levels of racism, and three principles for achieving health equity.

Dr. Camara Jones presents a Cliff Analogy for understanding three dimensions of health intervention: providing health services, addressing the social determinants of health (including poverty and neighborhood conditions), and addressing the social determinants of equity (including racism and other systems of structured inequity). She then turns her focus to a discussion of racism as a social determinant of equity and a root cause of “racial”/ethnic differences in health outcomes. She defines racism as “a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call ‘race’), that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.” She identifies three levels of racism (institutionalized, personally-mediated, and internalized) and illustrates these three levels with her Gardener’s Tale allegory. She then generalizes her discussion of racism to encompass other systems of structured inequity.

Dr. Jones defines health equity as “assurance of the conditions for optimal health for all people,” identifies three principles for achieving health equity, and gives examples of how those principles can be operationalized. She closes with two additional allegories to equip attendees to name racism and other systems of structured inequity, ask “How is racism operating here?”, and organize and strategize to act.

Learning Objectives

• Illustrate the relationship between health services, addressing the social determinants of health, and addressing the social determinants of equity using a Cliff Analogy

• Define racism as a system and identify three impacts of that system

• Describe three levels of racism and illustrate those levels using the Gardener’s Tale allegory

• Define health equity and identify three principles for achieving health equity

Special Instructions

After registering on the site, the site will send you an email with a link to access the training.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.