Implementing Racial Equity in County Health
Web Forum, July 15, 2020
There is no such thing as being equity neutral and the protests and national movements we witness unfolding across our country are a reminder of how far we have to go to ensure we create and re-create equitable public health systems and a more just society.
On July 15, 2020, San Mateo County Health staff and partners connected virtually with Marin County to learn more about their racial equity work and the best practices they’re spearheading in their own county, alongside our health leaders sharing SMC’s racial equity work, with a specific focus on how to respond using a racial equity lens to COVID-19.
At the forum, Srija Srinivasan, Deputy Chief of County Health, shared current efforts to advance racial equity in San Mateo County Health; Jei Africa, Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services at Marin County will share Marin’s efforts and lessons learned as they work to advance racial equity, and; we held small group breakout discussions to hear from staff, contracted CBOs, and boards/commissioners about other strategies and efforts to consider. Our hope was to learn from one another and identify additional strategies to explore as we continue to grow in our dedication to advance racial equity.
We had a number of technical challenges, principally issues with the breakout groups. We plan to supplement the first forum with a survey to make sure everyone had a chance to provide their thoughts, and a second forum where we focus on small groups discussions and Q/A with leadership. We welcome additional ideas. Please reach out to HPP@smcgov.org.
Below are the readings and videos attendees were asked to review before the forum:
- How will the protests end? History tells us much depends on how government responds. By Peniel E. Joseph. June 12, 2020. National Geographic. ()
- How racism makes us sick. By Dr. David Williams. TED Talk.https://www.ted.com/talks/david_r_williams_how_racism_makes_us_sick?language=en#t-192330. (Video – 20 minutes)
- Deconstructing White Privilege. By Robin DiAngelo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7mzj0cVL0Q (Video – 0-9:25 of 20 minute video)
- The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus. By Richard A. Oppel Jr., Robert Gebeloff, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Will Wright, and Mitch Smith. New York Times. July 5, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/05/us/coronavirus-latinos-african-americans-cdc-data.html. (approximately 8 pages)