Winter 2021 Health and Racial Justice in the Black Community

Racism is a global health crisis, one that leads to devastating health outcomes for the Black community. Black Americans experience high levels of stress due to racism in their daily lives and have difficulty obtaining health insurance and accessing high quality health care services. This leads to poorer health outcomes when compared to other Americans. The recent events of 2020 have further illuminated the health effects of systemic and structural racism; this was not only reflected in the inhumane acts against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black individuals, but also in the disproportionate rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths throughout the Black community. What are some ways that we, as members of the Global Health community, can pursue racial justice in healthcare when the disparities of access and quality are ingrained in the system itself? Join us for a discussion as we explore the relationship of racial justice and health equity.

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The UC San Diego Global Health Program and Students for Global Health held our fourteenth event in Quarterly Conversations in Global Health on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 through Zoom! This quarter’s panel spoke to the topic of Health and Racial Justice in the Black Community. 


Quarterly Conversations provides a forum for the Global Health community to come together to discuss relevant issues in the field from an interdisciplinary perspective and increase community interaction at UC San Diego.

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Thank you to the community tables who participated in the event’s networking session: Center for Global Mental Health, Global Health Institute,  and Students for Global Health.


Thank you to the community tables who participated in the event’s networking session: Black Resource Center, Black Studies Project, and Students for Global Health.


Tabling Organization #1: Black Resource Center

Lead by Porsia Curry, M.S. and Kyler Nathan, the Black Resource Center is known to provide community for black students at UCSD. 


Featured programs and events brought to you by the Black Resource Center include:

  • Peer Guidance Program - aid in academic, social and cultural adjustment

  • Black graduation ceremony

  • Community Programming - provide resources, time away from work; partnered with USD and SDSU


Tabling Organization #2: Black Studies Project

The aim of the Black Studies Project is to foster, nurture, and strengthen the black community on campus


Featured opportunities and events brought to you by the Black Studies Project include:

  • Public events, including March 11 on police abolishment

  • Encourage and support students who work or would like to work on research on sociocultural issues and economics in the black community

  • STEM and public health emphasis → reproductive right & justice, community based work, decriminalizing mental health

  • Undergraduate internship opportunity → course offered through African American studies minor (8 week research opportunity)

  • Social justice fellowship → paid position within greater SD community


Tabling Organization #3: Students for Global Health 

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We were delighted to have Dr. Thomas Csordas, Director of UC San Diego's Global Health Program, moderating the event as our Master of Ceremonies.

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Dr. Rodney Hood, MD

Dr. Rodney Hood, M.D. is the President and Chairman of the Multicultural Health Foundation.

  • The ethnohistoric legacy of slavery in America as a Root Cause for Health Inequities for African Americans - Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder

  • Hypothesis : PTSD - Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder

  • Racism and ethnocentrism

  • SDOH

  • Race and ethnicity

  • racism/bias/discrimination

  • Toxic stress

  • Medical Apartheid

  • Young Physicians measured implicit negative biases toward black patients

  • Asian and White physicians have the highest implicit bias towards blacks → less therapeutic recommendations for blacks vs whites

  • DCM (Dysesthesia Caucasoid Myopia)

  • White supremacy (per DSM criteria)

  • Place and race

  • Zip code is a predicator for life expectancy

  • ACEs and Whole Life Perspective

  • Allostatic load effects on race, poverty, and gender

  • Whites have lowest, black (women) have highest including poor white

Michelle Talley, LCSW

  • Intersection of Runaway Youth and Sexual Trauma and Violence

  • 0.5 million experience foster care placement

  • 1% reported being on runaway status (2018)

  • African American youth are disproportionately placed → white placed within similar family system but black places outside

  • LGBTQ youth more likely to end up homeless and out of foster care vs. heterosexual

  • Other factors include substance use, mental health dx, child welfare experience

  • Push factors: unsafe environment, overcrowding, highly restrictive rules

  • Pull factors: gain reconnection to family and friends, romantic partners, maintaining connection to community of origin, independence

  • <18 illegal to consent/participate in human trafficking (force or coercion to introduce labor or commercual sex acts in exchange for soemthing of value)

  • Characteristics of the trafficker

  • “Romeo boyfriend” →  charming, positive attention

  • Secrecy breaking down self esteem

  • Feeling dependent

  • False promises → recruit for modeling, acting, etc.

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