Racism has been declared a public health crisis by over 100 cities and counties, five states and numerous health and healthcare organizations across the country. American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin noted that “These declarations are an important first step in the movement to advance racial equity and justice and must be followed by allocation of resources and strategic action.”
Although some parts of the Berkeley Public Health (BPH) center racism, anti-racism and racial equity, overall BPH has not actively engaged in anti-racist practice and centered racial equity as a value or articulated it as central to its overall mission. Until we do that, members of our community will continue to be harmed and we will not be in a position to train our students to address the greatest public health challenges of our time. This will require a focus on our people (composition) as well as our institutional practices, policies and norms (context). It will also require an assessment of where we are falling short and the development of goals, objectives, strategies and metrics to guide our efforts toward becoming an anti-racist institution.
Racism (not race) is a fundamental cause of health disparities. BPH has a moral, ethical, and professional obligation to address racism as a root cause of health and overall well being based on what we see in the public health data. Our actions should reflect what our research tells us. Becoming an antiracist institution is an important part of that duty to ourselves (students, staff, and faculty), to the University, California, and the nation. We hope for our actions to achieve a collective liberation.
Become an anti-racism institution by examining our institutional policies, practices and norms. Become champions of racial equity praxis by creating and implementing long term training and education around: staff, students, academics, and faculty.
- Strategic Planning: Center anti-racism and racial equity praxis in the overall mission of BPH by developing 1, 3 and 5 year goals, objectives, strategies, metrics and evaluation plans for anti racist pedagogy, practice & administration.
- Collaborate & Align Efforts: Ensure alignment of BPH anti-racism and racial equity action program with the campus-level anti-racism initiative and other local efforts in BPH. Determine/Identify/Create opportunities to partner with other units across campus to elevant anti-racist across campus units and become a catalyst of anti-racism praxis on the UCB campus.
ARC 4 JSTC Members
Chair: Ché Abram
Project Leads: Amani Allen, Julianna Deardorff, Deborah Barnett, Quin Hussey, Audrey Cristobal, Lori Dorfman, Michelle Azurin, Sai Ramya Maddali
- Members: Andrea Jacobo, Andrew Sudler, Chris DeMarco, Denzil Streete, Clyde Oden, Jr., Enrique Ramirez, Elise Proulx, Emily Chow, Julianna Deardorff, Leanna W. Lewis, Lori Dorfman, Michelle Azurin, Michael H. Sholinbeck, Sarah Anne Reynolds, Seana Van Buren, Denise Herd, William H. Dow
The BPH Anti-Racist Community for Justice and Social Transformative Change Program (ARC 4 JSTC) includes four projects. Click on the particular project to learn more about its scope.
Summary of Project Objectives
- Community Engagement and Outreach: To translate research findings on disparities into anti-racist community action. Specific interests are testing & vaccination reach & pipelines into the local high schools. To engage in a strategic planning process with local, external stakeholders that centers on anti-racism (praxis, research). To build authentic relationships with community stakeholders so that UC Berkeley and BPH are able to affect change in collaboration with community members.
- Faculty Curriculum and Pedagogy: Center anti-racism and racial equity praxis in the education mission of BPH by providing training, adopting and integrating anti-racism and racial equity curriculum.
- Staff and Workforce Development: Develop a shared, foundational understanding and skillset related to anti-racism and racial equity among all BPH employees -- staff, academics, and faculty -- by providing ongoing training and learning opportunities (directly and by leveraging campus resources, such as online training, interactive sessions, etc.). Ensure BPH’s business processes, including those related to recruitment and procurement, center practices aimed at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Student Experience: For AY 20-21 create an environment at the BPH where all students can learn, build community and create relationships with an understanding of the impacts of structural and interpersonal racism. Offer students opportunities to participate in at least 6 different activities: film series, book clubs, guest speakers, protests and advocacy that help them understand the history of racism and how it impacts the public’s health.