“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It has been an exciting year at the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered at the Center or participated in activities over the last year and half. Your involvement contributes to our productivity. We have engaged with the work of scholars and researchers from around Los Angeles, the country and the world; with one coming from as far away as Australia. The diversity of speakers and activities has helped us cover a wide range of topics and interests. We collaborated with other units on campus, including the Center for the Study of Women, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA and the Department of History, and with community organizations. We have a budding social media presence @RacialHealthEq. We are eager to build on this momentum.
Our major projects over this period have been the completion of two edited collections, representing the cutting edge of what is known in the field. The first of these, a special issue of the journal Ethnicity & Disease, was edited by Center Director, Chandra Ford, and member of the Center’s Executive Board, Collins Airhihenbuwa, to assess the application of Critical Race Theory to empirical health equity research. To our knowledge, this special issue represents the first time a biomedical journal has published a special issue dedicated to Critical Race Theory. It helps to fill a critical gap in the scientific research on race and ethnicity, which rarely draws on critical race scholarship. We succeeded in publishing the special issue within a year of the Center’s launch (Fall 2018). The second publication on which we have been focused is an edited book commissioned by the American Public Health Association. We are delighted to share that the book is completed and in production. It is expected to be in print early 2019.
We at the Center are fighting for equity in a time when racialized conflict and inequality are expanding domestically and globally. Yet, we remain committed to the work, knowing that health equity cannot be achieved without undoing the root causes of inequities. I invite you to join us in these efforts. For those of you in a position to support the Center financially, please consider making a donation. All donations are used to conduct rigorous research, support innovative teaching on these topics, and engage in community work that addresses the health implications of racism. For those of you interested in getting actively involved, please begin thinking about what you would like to help the Center achieve in the coming year.
Our high level of productivity is due in large part to the Center’s dedicated staff. Special thanks to Porchia Toussaint, Natalie Bradford and Rebekah Israel Cross. Their dedication behind the scenes keeps the Center moving toward its health justice mission.
Looking forward to seeing you in the new year!
In struggle for equity,