Report: Building Narrative Power for Racial Justice and Health Equity

To improve the health and well-being of communities oppressed by racism and white supremacy, advocates for justice need to challenge some deeply held cultural assumptions, values, and practices.

This prerogative raises a series of questions: How can we disrupt the narratives that perpetuate racism and white privilege?  What counternarratives and stories need to be told to shift cultural consciousness? What kinds of alliances, infrastructure, and institutions are necessary?

During a two-day convening, health practitioners, race theorists, academics, activists, community organizers, and cultural and media strategists met to examine these questions, reflect, learn, and share ideas. From that meeting, the Open Society Public Health Program, in collaboration with NACCHO and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Center for Health Equity, developed Building Narrative Power for Racial Justice and Health Equity.

This convening report summary seeks to spark wider conversations—particularly in this fraught political moment—and mobilize people and resources in an effort to advance narratives that promote racial justice and expand our understanding of health, human rights, and the public good.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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