Cultural Considerations: Health Equity, Race & Place

Healthiest Communities recently released an analysis which measured race and ethnicity in relation to overall community health and well-being, and found that living in a community that is more heavily black or Hispanic means an unhealthy life is more likely than for those living in a mostly white community. The analysis was recently covered by the U.S. News:

It would be easy to say this analysis shows that race is the key factor in whether or not these people live healthy lives. But it’s not race that shapes our health as much as it is place…

In discussions about race and health, it’s easy to start talking about ‘healthy choices’ or to blame poor outcomes on culture and stereotypes. In fact, the root causes of a community’s poor health are more about location and a collection of factors far beyond residents’ control. These factors include unequal access to goods and services within their neighborhoods, exposure to toxins in their water and air, inadequate housing in their communities and a lack of quality schools nearby.

That’s why the Healthiest Communities data analysis is so important: It provides real, geographic reference for what can make a community unhealthy. We can see from this data that place isn’t just responsible for racial inequities, but for major health disparities within racially similar populations.

Read the full U.S. News article.

Texas CASA is committed to our goal of ensuring the highest quality advocacy possible for all children in the child protection system, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or disability status – that’s why we are highlighting resources to support the CASA network’s journey to becoming more inclusive, welcoming, affirming and culturally considerate. Explore more Cultural Considerations articles.