UNNATURAL CAUSES is inequality making us sick? HEALTH EQUITY research topics and resources to learn more
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Image Thumbnail Breaking the Cycle: Investigating the Intersection of Educational Inequities and Health Disparities E-mail to a friend
CONFERENCE VIDEOS from the Minority Health Project to Eliminate Health Disparities, 2009

Includes presentations from:
Reginald Weaver - Vice President, Education International; Past President, National Education Association

Dr. Dina Castro - Scientist, FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Nicholas A. Freudenberg - Distinguished Professor and DPH Director, Program in Urban Public Health, Hunter College School of Health Sciences/City University of New York

Lillian A. Sparks - Executive Director, National Indian Education Association (webpage)

Image Thumbnail College-Educated Fare Better When Cancer Strikes E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE, Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News, July 8, 2008

A report published July 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that, while outcomes from the four leading cancers overall improved between 1993 and 2001, most of the decline in deaths occurred among men and women with college degrees. Among women with fewer than 12 years of education, only white women showed a signicant decline in mortality from breast cancer. The full report is available free online.

Image Thumbnail Confronting Institutionalized Racism (pdf) E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Camara Phyllis Jones, Phylon 2003

A conversational piece aimed at understanding and intervening on the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the U.S. population. Some questions addressed: Why discuss racism at all when talking about health? What is racism? What is “race”? Is there something about the environment that we can usefully describe as the "racial climate," and if so, how do we measure it and what is it doing? If we want to confront institutionalized racism, what does that really mean and how do we get started?

Image Thumbnail Enough to Make You Sick?: Something is Killing America's Urban Poor E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE by Helen Epstein, New York Times, 2003

A newspaper article that looks at the epidemic of premature "aging" and death in the poor. Epstein explores the question, "Is there something deadly in the American experience of urban poverty itself?"

Image Thumbnail From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development E-mail to a friend
REPORT from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development

How can we use our burgeoning knowledge to assure the well-being of all young children, for their own sake as well as for the sake of our nation? Drawing from new findings, this book presents important conclusions about nature-versus-nurture, the impact of being born into a working family, the effect of politics on programs for children, the costs and benefits of intervention, and other issues. The committee issues a series of challenges to decision makers regarding the quality of child care, issues of racial and ethnic diversity, the integration of children's cognitive and emotional development, and more.

The full text of this report is available free online.

Image Thumbnail From Womb to Tomb E-mail to a friend
RADIO SHOW TRANSCRIPT, Stephen Bezruchka, Alternative Radio, April 2005

Bezruchka explains that an increasing stratification between the rich and the poor plays a major role in the United States' decline in health and life expectancy rankings over the last five decades. Life spans and infant mortality rates depend very much on the hierarchal structure of a society. And new research shows that half of what influences our health as adults is largely determined before the age of five. What can we learn from other countries whose citizens live longer and healthier lives?

The above link opens a pdf of the transcript. Audio of this and other radio pieces by Bezruchka are available at Alternative Radio. Other articles and presentations by Bezruchka are available in the Population Health Forum's Resource Library.

Image Thumbnail How racism hurts -- literally E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE by Madeline Drexler, Boston Globe, July 15, 2007

A newspaper article that describes contemporary research on the effects of racism on health.

Image Thumbnail Inclusion for the United States (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT from Inclusion.org and the Center for Economic Policy and Research

This working paper makes the case for a new, overarching framework—social inclusion—to advance and integrate social policy. It critiques the current poverty framework and the official U.S. poverty measure, and explains why the concept of social inclusion is a better alternative. The paper discusses how the concept of social inclusion is used in the United Kingdom and how it might be adapted for use in the United States.

Image Thumbnail Inequality: Bad for Your Health E-mail to a friend
INTERVIEW with Ichiro Kawachi, Dollars & Sense, January 2008

Epidemiologist Ichiro Kawachi clearly explains the theory about how relative deprivation from economic inequality, and explores various possible mechanisms for the relationship.

Image Thumbnail Jack Shonkoff Interview (pdf) E-mail to a friend

In this original interview, Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, discusses the importance of early childhood experiences on life-long health, learning, and success. He describes the effect of toxic stress on brain development, and asserts that we have a moral and economic incentive to provide the best environments for all children or pay the price later in the form of reduced productivity and the burden of chronic disease.

Image Thumbnail john a. powell on Race and Privilege E-mail to a friend

How is race socially constructed? Why can't we get rid of the concept? How do whites benefit without having to do anything? What can we do about residential segregation and inequality?
john a. powell is director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in the Americas at Ohio State University and the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Moritz College of Law. He is a nationally recognized scholar on race, poverty, and regional equity. This interview was conducted for the documentary series RACE: The Power of an Illusion.

Image Thumbnail Patterns and Causes of Disparities in Health (pdf) E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by David Williams, Chapter in Policy Challenges in Modern Health Care

This chapter provides an overview of social disparities in health in the United States. It begins by outlining the complex social forces that combine to produce variations in health. It then considers the patterns of racial/ethnic differences in health and shows how these must be understood in the context of the heterogeneity of those groups, and the even larger disparities by socioeconomic status (SES) and gender. The chapter concludes by focusing on the opportunities and challenges for reducing social disparities in health in the United States.

Image Thumbnail Poor education and early death E-mail to a friend
EDITORIAL in the San Francisco Chronicle, February 2006

An opinion piece discussing the importance of focusing on the relevance of good education for good health, based around a profile of Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Tony Iton - an expert featured in UNNATURAL CAUSES.

Image Thumbnail Race, Racial Inequality, and Health Inequities: Separating Myth from Fact (pdf) E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Brian Smedley, Michael Jeffries, Larry Adelman and Jean Cheng

This paper, prepared by staff at The Opportunity Agenda and California Newsreel, provides background, statistics, and theoretical frameworks to help the reader better understand the role that "race" plays in health inequities. Evidence is presented that discounts popularly accepted genetic explanations and supports theories of socially-based factors.

Image Thumbnail The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan E-mail to a friend
REPORT from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This report summarizes the research on childhood stress and its implications for adult health and well-being. Of particular interest is the stress caused by child abuse, neglect, and repeated exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV). This publication provides violence prevention practitioners with ideas about how to incorporate information on childhood stress into their work.

Image Thumbnail The Wealth Factor E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Dalton Conley, New York University

What difference does wealth make in terms of your life opportunities? Over recent years, magazines and newspapers have run a variety of articles that explore why middle-class Black children don't do as well in school as white children from families with similar socio-economic backgrounds. These "achievement gap" articles are based on studies that relate achievement to family incomes. But the findings from these studies, argues one researcher, are highly misleading--because they simply fail to factor in what may be the key determinant to socio-economic status: family wealth.

Image Thumbnail Where Race Lives E-mail to a friend
INTERACTIVITY from RACE: The Power of an Illusion, 2003

Where you live in the U.S. isn't just a matter of preference. It's also about providing for the future. Does everyone have the same access to home ownership, good schools, and resources?

Explore how government policies and past discrimination have made generating wealth easier for some Americans than for others.