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To commemorate Black History Month, this newsletter focuses on the health equity efforts concerning the 46.8 million black people, the largest racial minority group in the United states. The health disparities among Black Americans are stark and disproportionate. For example, compared to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans are eight times as likely to be diagnosed with HIV and nine times as likely to die from it. Black women are three to four times as likely as Whites to die from pregnancy-related deaths and are about 1.5-3 times more likely to die from stroke, asthma, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer. Teaching students about the social determinants of these health disparities alone is inadequate. Rather, as Sharma et al. argue, educators and society at large must adopt a justice and equity lens to transform the deeper, historical origins of systematic exclusion and discrimination.
We invite you to read about the research that is improving our understanding of the epidemiology of the health inequities among our black community and the incredible work that some groups are doing to lessen the detrimental effects of over a century of local, state, and federal policies on the health of our black population. We hope that the research and articles in this newsletter will inspire and inform the work that you continue to do to train our next generation of health equity and social mission driven health professionals.