Utilizing a classroom incident that prompted formal public and informal private conversations about race across the campus of a New England regional comprehensive university, we suggest that the discussion of race in public health and health promotion is often compartmentalized. The pedagogy of public health and health promotion often examines race in terms of health disparities, access to health care, cultural sensitivity and competence among public health providers. While this examination is applauded, it does not adequately confront racism and the experience of race by students in actual public health classrooms. Race, we argue, appears theoretical and does not acknowledge the lived experiences of students in the classrooms and is without a discussion of whiteness or white supremacy. This piece explores a classroom approach to engage the topic of race through an examination of whiteness in order to inform future pedagogy and professional practice. We suggest that public health in both professional practice and as an academic discipline requires confronting white supremacy and racism not only in pedagogy but in course content, faculty development, and administration. We conclude that it is ineffective to merely embrace racial diversity without being anti-racist.
Evans, Marian MD, MPH; Breny, Jean M. PhD, MPH; Njoku, Anuli Uzoaru; and Searcy, Yan PhD
"Exploring Racism in Health Pedagogy,"
Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice: Vol. 5:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/rpj/vol5/iss4/3