The recent police killing of George Floyd was not an isolated incident but part of a history of structural and interpersonal racism inseparable from American history. The health inequities brought into devastating relief by the COVID-19 crisis are part of that same history, and they further confirm the daily and multigenerational reality of devaluation and constrained opportunity faced by communities of color in the United States. Amid nationwide unrest, deep distrust, and renewal of long-ignored calls for systemic change, how do we mobilize efforts to create a society in which the color of your skin is not the difference between life and death?
Camara Phyllis Jones RI '20 and David R. Williams explore how we might overcome, in Jones's words, "the somnolence of racism denial," dismantle the system of racism, and put in its place a system in which all people can thrive.
Camara Phyllis Jones, 2019–2020 Evelyn Green Davis Fellow, Radcliffe Institute; adjunct professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; senior fellow and adjunct associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine
David R. Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health and chair, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; professor of African and African American studies and of sociology, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Introduction by Tomiko Brown Nagin, dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School; professor of history, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences