Racism as a Root Cause Approach: A New Framework

Pediatrics. 2021 Jan;147(1):e2020015602. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-015602.


The field of public health has identified racial health disparities as a chief concern for decades. Although there has been a myriad of published articles in which researchers describe the severity and complexity of these disparities, they persist into present day relatively unchanged. We believe this lack of progress can be explained, in part, by a failure to acknowledge that racism is at the root of these racial disparities. Many children’s health advocates believe more should be done to address our country’s systemic racial inequities, but few of us feel able to create meaningful change, and even fewer feel that it is our responsibility. As a result, many opt to pursue programmatic fixes and Band-Aid solutions over addressing the underlying systemic, interpersonal, and historical racism. We hope to empower children’s health advocates by introducing a solutions-centered framework for addressing racism as a root cause. This approach can help guide and structure the important work of dismantling racism so Black, Indigenous, and other racially marginalized families can finally have an equal opportunity for good health.

PMID:33386339 | DOI:10.1542/peds.2020-015602