Part of National Initiative to Address Structural Racism
BOSTON – The Boston Public Health Commission announced today that its Center for Health Equity and Social Justice has been awarded nearly $300,000 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to address the devastating impact of structural racism on communities. The Center, selected from more than 1,000 applicants, will use the funding to expand its youth anti-racism training and implement racial healing activities.
“Addressing structural racism is a fundamental strategy to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities and improving the health of the community,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Commission’s Executive Director. “This grant recognizes our work in the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities and we look forward to continuing our efforts as part of this national initiative.”
The grant is part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s five-year America Healing initiative, which aims to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and their families by promoting racial healing and eliminating barriers to opportunities. The Center, which currently funds 15 communities and organizations across New England in the elimination of health disparities, will focus the funding on its youth development efforts. Youths will take anti-racism workshops and develop racial healing activities, such as documentary projects, digital storytelling, community dialogues, spoken word or poetry events, music production, and performance. Boston’s grant is one of 119 awarded nationwide by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“Our health equity framework acknowledges the impact that racism has on social factors and health,” said Nashira Baril, MPH, co-director of the Commission’s Center for Health Equity and Social Justice. “This opportunity will allow us to expand our model and support youth around the region as they create activities that lead to racial healing.”
Children of color are over-represented among the 29 million low-income children and families in the United States, particularly among families living in concentrated poverty. In Boston, an estimated 35 percent of Black or African American children, 43 percent of Latino, 31 percent of Asian, and 15 percent of White children live in poverty, according to the American Community Survey.
Structural, or institutional, racism is a system in which the policies and practices of both government and private institutions continue to privilege some and disadvantage others based on physical characteristics. Although subtle, structural racism imposes real and significant barriers to success for children and families of color. The goal of the America Healing initiative is to engage communities and support efforts to address the effects of historic and contemporary structural issues, such as residential segregation and concentrated poverty.
For more information about the Commission’s Center for Social Justice and Health Equity, visit http://www.bphc.org/healthequity. To learn more about America Healing, please visit http://www.americahealing.org.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Established in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (www.wkkf.org) supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, southern Africa, Latin America , and the Caribbean. The foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich.
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