Dr. Gail Christopher and daughter, Heather C. McGhee, two of the country’s most acclaimed social justice and health equity advocates, will share their insights on the impact of racism on health outcomes during a November 1 Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) webinar entitled: Taking Action to Promote Health Equity – Using Lessons from Cutting Edge Practices to Improve Health and Well Being.
“Research clearly demonstrates that racism exacerbates health inequity and chronic disease in communities of color,” said Dr. Christopher, who chairs the TFAH Board of Directors and is a pioneer in developing and implementing major initiatives aimed at jettisoning racism, facilitating racial healing and uprooting conscious and unconscious beliefs in a hierarchy of human value.
The webinar will take place on Thursday, November 1, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm EST. Registration is free, advance registration is required. Register at:https://publichealthinstitute.webex.com/publichealthinstitute/onstage/g.php?MTID=e5dcc5d88b6d7a292ca6ac72e45b4b689
At the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Christopher launched the Foundation’s $200 million America Healing initiative that funded organizations nationwide to heal racial divides and eradicate structural bias in their communities. Later, in 2016, Dr. Christopher initiated the groundbreaking Truth Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) process that engaged communities to adapt practices and learnings of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC) and apply them locally to resolve the consequences of centuries of racism and structural inequities.
Ms. McGhee has emerged as one of the nation’s preeminent thought leaders on a range of issues from politics to social justice to racial equity. In 2002, Ms. McGhee joined Demos, a public policy organization committed to economic equity and strengthening America’s democracy, served as its president from 2014 through June 2018, and now is a Distinguished Senior Fellow. As president, she led Demos’ successful Racial Equity Transformation, resulting in, among other measures, Demos becoming a majority person of color think tank.
Her experience leading organizational transformation shaped her recommendations to Starbucks, which tapped her to advise the company after the racist incident in a Philadelphia store. Currently, Ms. McGhee is writing a comprehensive book about the personal, economic and societal costs of racism to all communities, including whites, that will be published next year. She is a frequent contributor to NBC News, appearing on news shows including Meet the Press.
“The inequality of our economy and our society are reflected in the inequality of our democracy, including health outcomes and especially for people of color,” said McGhee.
John Auerbach, TFAH President and CEO, said that TFAH is elated to have two women at the forefront of the national dialogue on racism’s impact on health to headline the final segment of the organization’s Taking Action to Promote Health Equity webinar series. “We are thrilled to be culminating this webinar series with two such remarkable leaders in the effort to make our society a healthier nation by making it a more equitable nation,” said Auerbach. “Everyone tuning in to the webinar will come away with new insights about how to create positive change especially where inside out change is needed.”
For the first time in a national forum, these two leaders will discuss how change is created at the individual, community, organization and system levels. They will focus on the impact of racism on the health of communities of color, the evolution of leaders as effective champions of equity, and the nation’s unfinished work toward racial equity.
“Beliefs drive behavior. The false ideology of a hierarchy of human value and personhood can still shape our relationships and actions,” says Dr. Christopher. “Understanding and addressing this core belief system is a vital part of our nation’s healing journey.”
The Taking Action to Promote Health Equity webinar series is produced by TFAH in partnership with and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The California Endowment, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.