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Healthy communities must address racism (USA)

April 21, 2011

A new report reveals that race and place matter a lot when it comes to physical and mental health, and wellbeing. The report “Why Race and Place Matter: Impacting Health through a Focus on Race and Place,” builds on earlier work on place-based solutions, and directly explores the role that race and ethnicity play in building healthy communities. This work comes from a joint initiative between PolicyLink, a US-based research and advocacy institute focused on issues of economic and social equity, and the California Endowment.

“Why Race and Place Matters” provides evidence, analysis and case studies of racialized health inequities, starting with a focus on California and expanding to the broader US. The report’s authors argue that because race plays a central role in shaping communities – remaining perhaps the deepest societal divide – it must be addressed by the healthy communities movement.

Approaches to understanding the issues are accompanied by strategies and solutions. Specific attention is given to the interplay between racialization, place, physical and mental health.

To read the full report “Why Race & Place Matter: Impacting Health Through a Focus on Race and Place,” (April 2011), please visit the PolicyLink website at

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