Social Determinants of Health + Systemic Racism




I struggle with finding the right words a lot of the time, but I do know that taking action, practicing empathy, fervently praying, and consistently educating myself and others are steps that I can and will take.


I feel it is a responsibility of mine, both personally and professionally, to use my platform and my voice to educate myself and others, encourage change, and extend love.


I don't know the answer. But I do know that our brothers and sisters are hurting. I know that humanity is hurting. I know that people feel broken.


I know that social discrimination in all forms is a prevalent issue and has been for a very long time - And our world's health and wellbeing suffers because of it. 


Part of my mission statement as a business is:

"...to equip [individuals] with the knowledge, guidance and resources needed in order to [live a life of health and balance] with ease."

I have committed to making this viable for everyone - To creating a safe place for every woman of every race, size, sexuality, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture, education, upbringing, etc. 


I feel that I would not be doing my job if I didn't talk about the injustices and social discrimination that makes this pursuit much harder for some than others. 


Consistent research proves that as societal inequality increases, health decreases. Every day, discrimination impacts the experiences of unfair treatment, disrespect, lack of resources, and injustice. Examples include residential segregation, absence of quality food in low-income areas, mistreatment from essential health providers, job discrimination or dismissal, enrollment in low-quality schools with lack of proper health resources, increased stressors due to the ongoing global discrimination crisis, and unfair variances in the justice system. 


Have you heard of the social determinants of health? These are the economic and societal factors that influence one's quality of health and are heavily impacted by the presence of discrimination. A good health status, although essential for a proper quality of life, a is an unfair privilege, and those who don't get to experience that are suffering because of discrimination.


The social determinants of health include:


ECONOMIC STABILITY

NEIGHBORHOOD AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

EDUCATION

FOOD

COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL CONTEXT

HEALTHCARE


Because of systemic racism, people of color, specifically black individuals and families, are denied quality resources and services in each of these areas, making a proper quality of life difficult to achieve.


Here are some statistics to think about that prove the severity of systemic racism:


  • 90% of the country's wealth is held by white individuals

  • The unemployment rate of black individuals is DOUBLE what it is for white people

  • Black students are 3x more likely to be suspended from school for the same infractions as white students

  • When black individuals are convicted of a crime, they are 20% more likely to go to jail and 20% more likely to receive a longer sentence than a white person charged for the same thing

  • Black ownership of homes is 42%, and they are shown 18% fewer homes than white individuals. Black people are more often denied larger loans as well.

  • Black drivers are 30% more likely to be pulled over.

  • A recent study has shown that 67% of healthcare workers show a bias against Black patients


This is not OK.


Discrimination is everywhere. I encourage you to continue to research, learn, and educate yourself on all types of inequities, injustice, discrimination, and corruption in our society. Then move forward with love and determination to change the narrative. 


You may not understand what discrimination feels like, but no one should have to. 


I encourage you to take action. We MUST change.


Here's what you can do:


  • Have hard, important conversations with friends and family

  • Donate to an anti-racism, activist, justice-seeking organization

  • VOTE

  • Educate yourself

  • Listen to the stories of others

  • Speak up for your black friends and family

  • Support POC

  • Love EVERYONE unconditionally, just as Christ loves you


Galatians 3:28 ESV

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


As people of God, we are called to love one another, to protect one another, accept one another. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.


RESOURCES


https://www.demos.org/

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/08/21/through-good-times-and-bad-black-unemployment-is-consistently-double-that-of-whites/

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/03/21/292456211/black-preschoolers-far-more-likely-to-be-suspended/

https://www.ussc.gov/research/research-reports/demographic-differences-sentencing

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/05/28/evidence-that-banks-still-deny-black-borrowers-just-as-they-did-50-years-ago/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/09/you-really-can-get-pulled-over-for-driving-while-black-federal-statistics-show/



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