“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

Equity Challenge Week 3 Wednesday Instituational Racism and Health

Institutional racism: Discriminatory treatment, unfair policies and practices, inequitable opportunities and impacts within organizations and institutions, all based on race, that routinely produce racially inequitable outcomes for people of color and advantages for White people. Individuals within institutions take on the power of the institution when they reinforce racial inequities. 

The negative and compounding impacts of socioeconomic status and institutional racism lead to shorter life spans and higher likelihood of adverse health outcomes for people living in poverty and people of color. Importantly, a study published in the journal Nature illustrates that this is not a result of individual choices, but rather institutional racism. It found that millions of Black people have been affected by racial bias in health-care algorithms used by many U.S. hospitals, resulting in Black people being less likely than white people who were equally sick being referred to programs.

Because health care costs typically make up a large portion of a household’s annual budget. there is additional stress on families with low to moderate incomes (ALICE). And having health care does not guarantee that it is affordable or accessible.


Fact Sheet from the American Psychological Association (3 Minutes)

  • Read this article on the compounding impact of socieoeconomic status and race on health.

Local Group Calls for Justice and Accountability (4 Minute Read)

  • Dr. Susan Moore and Dr. Chaniece Wallace died about two months apart. Both women were black physicians in Indianapolis doctors only months apart, Call X Response demands training for health care workers in racial equity, anti-racism, empathy and bias training.


Combating Racism & Place-Ism in Medicine (11:42)

  • Excerpt from YouTube Description: Race shouldn’t determine your health. Zip code shouldn’t change your life expectancy. Dr. Nwando Olayiwola explains how the medical profession does harm to patients by perpetuating racism & committing place-ism, ignoring place & health connections. She offers solutions for how technology & educational reform can help.


When Emergency Decision Making Becomes Dangerous (4 min listen)
Listen to this podcast where Emergency Medical Responders Confront Racial Bias and the role it plays in patient care.