Swetland Affiliate, Dr. Colleen Walsh recently published an Op-Ed in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice titled, 'Learning to See Racism: Perspective Transformation Among Stakeholders in a Regional Health and Equity Initiative.' As the country becomes increasingly aware of the deeply rooted systemic racism that is and has been occurring in the U.S. for over 400 years, anthropologist and Swetland Center affiliate, Colleen Walsh Ph.D. and team, explore the health inequities between racial and ethnic groups, diving deeper into a means of bridging the gap. While it is true that policy and legal actions need to be taken, Dr. Walsh states this alone will not be sufficient. Dr. Walsh and her team assembled a diverse group of stakeholders, including metro-wide decision-makers, health professionals, clinicians, community leaders, and community members, to participate in the local health and equity initiative with two aims: to eliminate structural racism and to promote perspective transformation using a heart and head approach.
By focusing on perspective transformation with stakeholders in the local health and equity initiative, there is an intention to shift the way people think and what they know in order to produce different behaviors and actions that will ultimately eliminate structural racism. Dr. Walsh concludes, “Achieving health equity will require a shift in mindset toward a greater understanding of the roots and consequences of structural racism and a concomitant commitment to action…” The Swetland Center community is so proud to work with Dr. Walsh and her team, and is deeply appreciative for her commitment to the work that will spark a critical change in our nation!