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Webinar Highlights How Racism, Violence Impact Public Health and Equity

Webinar Highlights How Racism, Violence Impact Public Health and Equity

Of the many factors that influence our health, some of the most difficult to address are the social determinants that are deeply ingrained in our society. In particular, racism and violence have a tremendous impact on health and wellbeing, and communities of color are disproportionately impacted. Fortunately, a lot of work is being done to make the connection between racism, violence, and public health. Earlier today, the American Public Health Association (APHA) hosted No Safety, No Health: A Conversation About Race, Place and Preventing Violence, the second webinar of their four-part series, The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation.

Today’s web forum included an engaging discussion featuring APHA Past President Linda Degutis, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Howard Pinderhughes of UC San Francisco, Marc Philpart of Policy Link, and Benita Tsao of Prevention Institute. The discussion touched on a wide range of topics including the health impacts of violence and racism, trauma-informed interventions, improving the built environment, shaping positive narratives, and how public health can play a pivotal role in engaging communities for violence prevention.

Here are some of the highlights:

Degutis focused on some of the health impacts of violence.

For more information on leading causes of death, you can check this searchable resource.

Tsao touched on how racism plays a role in public health and what are some of the community risk factors when it comes to violence.

She also shared this Prevention Institute resource that has more on making the connection between violence and health equity.

Pinderhughes discussed his work developing and implementing trauma-informed approaches to violence reduction in at-risk communities. He also mentioned how the media contributes to negative narratives in these communities and how law enforcement strategies can create further instability.

You can also read more about Pinderhughes and his trauma-informed work in this publication from Prevention Institute.

Philpart discussed PolicyLink’s work on the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, which includes a number of advocacy organizations (including CPEHN) and works to improve the health and wellbeing of this particularly vulnerable population. He also noted that a focus on policy and broader systems change can create sustainable improvement.

One of the main takeaways from the webinar is that racism and violence are pressing public health issues and public health agencies and advocates are uniquely positioned to develop comprehensive approaches to community safety. The audio of the event will be posted on APHA’s website, where you can also register for the next webinar in the series, Unequal Treatment: Disparities in Access, Quality and Care, on August 25th.

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