Why Place & Race Matter

Why Place & Race Matter

Any effort to mitigate health disparities must first address the links between location, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status as well as the physiological effects of bias and discrimination, a report from the California Endowment and PolicyLink argues. According to Why Place & Race Matter (113 pages, PDF), racism continues to influence the economic, social, and physical environments of vulnerable communities of color, which in turn affects the health status of residents. Research also shows that race/ethnicity is a greater determinant of health status than income, and that even when people in distressed communities manage to exercise and eat healthy foods, the benefits are often muted by the toxic conditions in those neighborhoods. The report's authors argue that strategies for building healthy, thriving, sustainable communities must be race-conscious and focus on addressing both community conditions and individual health interventions simultaneously if they are to be effective.