Structural Racism Is A Public Health Issue: “Why Your Doctor Should Care About Social Justice”

“It’s time for us to rise up, and collectively speak up about structural inequality. We don’t have to have all the answers to call for change. We just need courage.”

—Mary Bassett

In this talk, New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett describes health disparities as being structural violence.

“Structural because inequities are embedded in the political and economic organization of our social world, often in ways that are invisible to those with privilege and power.

And violence, because of its impact. Premature deaths, suffering, illness, is violence. We do little for our patients if we fails to recognize these social injustices.

And a lot of this is about racial disparities and institutionalized racism.”


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow! This is deep! She’s absolutely right that injustice and inequality effect health. I’m glad she’s taking this view public.

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