Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Harry Heiman

Second Advisor

Dr. Jyll Walsh

Third Advisor

Dr. Kristie Seelman


Racism is undoubtedly a “hot topic” in America today. Since the murder of Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has swept over the nation, ruffled feathers, roared, and been a call to action. Most importantly, the BLM movement has highlighted and reinvigorated the discussion of race and racism, and prompted us to ask “what do we do next?” The uncomplicated answer would be to act-- to create policies and programs that ensure the end of undue violence toward Black people, toward Latinx and Hispanic people, toward ethnic and religious minorities, and give all of the American people their overdue balance of equity. Instead, we see the growth of immigrants ripped from their homeland placed in detention camps; we see continuing police violence against Black people; the rise of anti-Semitic attacks and rhetoric; and the escalation of anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander brutality. The question of “why?” now comes with an air of futility. “Why does this keep happening?” The reality is that without improvement in the laws and policies underlying our current structures and systems, we will continue to see more of the same. The field of public health has declared racism a public health crisis. To meaningfully address racism in current and future policies requires development of policy formulation processes and considerations that specifically bring an antiracism lens and approach.


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