Racism as a Public Health Crisis


PHA recognizes systemic racism as not just a threat to our society, but that it is also a public health crisis. Because of the stressors of systemic racism and the systems built around it, people of color are:

  • More likely to experience shorter lifespans than white people
  • More likely to suffer from stress and anxiety brought on by systemically racist institutions than white people
  • More likely to develop underlying conditions like high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes than white people
  • More likely to experience joblessness, placement in unsafe living conditions, and exposure to toxic environments than white people
  • Less likely to have access to quality medical care than white people
  • More likely to spend time in prison than white people

All of these factors contribute to inequitable and disproportional rates of physical, mental, and behavioral health problems for communities of color. 

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Focus Areas

To address systemic racism in the Battle Creek community and its impact on health, this action group focuses on these key areas:

  • Disaggregate data by race and work to better understand the root causes of the inequities that exist in our communities
  • Serve as a source of education in the community to inform organizations and community members about existing inequities
  • Identify areas where racism exists, and then develop strategies to eliminate racism and support communities of color. These strategies include actions like:
    • Promoting and supporting organizations to participate in an equity audit to identify areas of systemic racism and develop plans to address those areas
    • Promoting and supporting organizations to participate in unconscious bias training as recently ordered by the State of Michigan
    • Working to identify and seek resources and opportunities to provide greater partnership and support for communities of color (i.e. apply for grant opportunities, etc.).
    • Additional strategies as determined by evaluation and need

Get in Touch

Do you have questions about Racism as a Public Health Crisis? Just ask for the Population Health Alliance when you call (269) 962-2181 or click the button below to send an email.

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