Working Toward Health Equity Requires Antiracist Teaching

Published:January 21, 2023DOI:
      Eliminating health inequities requires undoing systemic and institutional racism in society and repairing past harms. The public health and preventive medicine workforce has an important role to play in reaching this goal, but it will require shifting the approach to training and capacity building. Public health and medical training programs are needed, including schools of public health and medicine at universities and workforce development programs, to adopt antiracist pedagogy principles. These principles can help to ensure that training programs have both the content and processes that enable the future and current health workforce to take meaningful action toward racial equity and justice in our society. This paper starts by defining antiracist pedagogy, and 6 key principles are set forth. Then, the authors describe how integrating antiracist pedagogy into training programs is a key strategy for addressing racial health inequities. The paper closes by providing considerations and recommendations for the field of public health and preventive medicine for more fully adopting antiracist pedagogy principles.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Bailey ZD
        • Krieger N
        • Agénor M
        • Graves J
        • Linos N
        • Bassett MT.
        Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: evidence and interventions.
        Lancet. 2017; 389: 1453-1463
        • Fleming PJ.
        The importance of teaching history of inequities in public health programs.
        Pedagog Health Promot. 2020; 6: 253-256
      1. American Public Health Association. Advancing public health interventions to address the harms of the carceral system. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association. Published October 26, 2021. Accessed April 21, 2022.

        • Galea S
        • Vaughan R.
        Extending the scope of health in all policies approaches.
        Am J Public Health. 2021; 111: 1733-1735
        • Ford CL
        Airhihenbuwa CO. The public health critical race methodology: praxis for antiracism research.
        Soc Sci Med. 2010; 71: 1390-1398
        • Graham L
        • Brown-Jeffy S
        • Aronson R
        • Stephens C.
        Critical race theory as theoretical framework and analysis tool for population health research.
        Crit Public Health. 2011; 21: 81-93
        • Crenshaw K
        • Gotanda N
        • Peller G
        • Thomas K
        Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement.
        The New Press, New York, NY1995
        • Ladson-Billings G.
        Just what is critical race theory and what's it doing in a nice field like education?.
        Int J Qual Stud Educ. 1998; 11: 7-24
      2. Haynes C, Joseph NM. Introduction - transforming the STEM system: teaching that disrupts White institutional space. In: Joseph NM, Haynes C, Cobb F, eds. Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power. New York, NY: Peter Lang; 2016:1–12. Accessed March 22, 2022.

        • Kishimoto K.
        Anti-racist pedagogy: from faculty's self-reflection to organizing within and beyond the classroom.
        Race Ethn Educ. 2018; 21: 540-554
        • Hooks B.
        Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.
        Routledge, New York, NY1994
        • Jones CP.
        Toward the science and practice of anti-racism: launching a national campaign against racism.
        Ethn Dis. 2018; 28: 231-234
        • Nong P
        • Lopez WD
        • Fleming PJ
        • Anderson RE
        • Creary MS.
        Structural racism is not an exemption from accountability.
        Bethesda, MD: HealthAffairs. 2021; (Accessed March 22, 2022)
        • Hagopian A
        • West KM
        • Ornelas IJ
        • Hart AN
        • Hagedorn J
        • Spigner C.
        Adopting an anti-racism public health curriculum competency: the University of Washington experience.
        Public Health Rep. 2018; 133: 507-513
        • Creary MS.
        Bounded justice and the limits of health equity.
        J Law Med Ethics. 2021; 49: 241-256
      3. Serwer A. Why conservatives want to cancel the 1619 project. The Atlantic. May 21, 2021. Accessed March 22, 2022.