CommunityStacy M. Brown

D.C. Council, Health Educators: Racism is a National Health Threat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not alone in viewing racism as a public health threat. The D.C. Council has been chewing on that issue since 2020 a council member introduced a resolution declaring racism as a barrier, not just a menace.

“The notion that, with hard work, everyone born in the United States has an equal opportunity to succeed and achieve the American dream is sadly not the case,” said Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie. “We do not live in a post-racial society, and racial equality has not been achieved. If ever we are going to achieve racial equity in this country, it will require official recognition of the role of government–sanctioned slavery, segregation, and other actions in denying wealth-building opportunities to Black Americans.”

Vicki Girard, Georgetown University’s Health Justice Alliance director, applauded the D.C. Council and supports the declaration that racism is a public health crisis.

“When these issues go unrecognized, they perpetuate poor health outcomes that disproportionately harm Black D.C. residents,” Girard announced.

RELATED: CDC Director Labels Racism a Serious Public Health Threat

A recent Georgetown University study listed a series of 18 recommendations in two categories to fix disparities affecting African Americans.

“One sector cannot fix the problem,” wrote the authors of the Georgetown report, titled, “Health Disparities in the Black Community: An Imperative for Racial Equity in the District of Columbia.”

“The journey to racial equity requires an explicit and cross-sector approach to eliminate social, economic, and environmental conditions that stymie upward mobility and compromise well-being across the lifespan,” the school’s authors wrote. “As the city continues to experience growth and economic progress, proactive efforts are needed to address policies, practices, and norms that perpetuate segregation and inequitable distribution of resources.”

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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