BLOG: The Intersection of Black Lives Matter and Public Health

October 3, 2017


Disease doesn’t discriminate. Disease also doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Public health professionals have seen disparities in health outcomes along racial and ethnic lines for decades. Data point to disparities in life expectancy, rates of new HIV diagnoses, rates of viral suppression for those who are HIV positive, rates of emergency room visits due to asthma or heart disease, among others. With the Black Lives Matter movement elevating the discussion on disparities to a national dialogue, we asked public health professionals how they can use that momentum to inform their work. Public health and social justice professionals talked about how different sectors, such as the economy, transportation, housing, and food can work together and use the national conversation on disparities to address health outcomes.
Take a look at the video by Mehroz Baig from SFDPH’s Center for Learning & Innovation, to hear how Bay Area social justice and public health experts think we can move this conversation forward.

  • Jessica Brown, Manager of Training and Workforce Development, San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Muntu Davis, Health Officer, Alameda County Health Department
  • Dr. Joy DeGruy, author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
  • Melissa Jones, Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
  • Krystal Robinson Justice, Special Projects Coordinator, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
  • Zachary Norris, Executive Director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
  • Veronica Shepard, Collective Impact Coordinator, Black/African-American Health Initiative, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Watch Video!
A version of the video with closed captions and an audio description track can be found here.

Back to Resources