Democratic Senators including Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono introduced the “Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2021,” which would establish a Center on Antiracism at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federally funded body would “declare racism a public health crisis and name racism as an historical and present threat to the physical and mental health and well-being of the United States and world” and “aim to develop new knowledge in the science and practice of antiracism.”
To do so, the National Center on Antiracism and Health would study “the public health impacts of implicit racial bias, White supremacy, weathering, xenophobia, discrimination, and prejudice,” according to the February bill.
The 15-page bill defines structural racism as the ‘‘overarching system of racial bias across institutions and society,” adding that it “has negatively affected communities of color, especially Black, Latinx, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaska Native people, to expand and reinforce White supremacy.”
To combat this, the center would “develop training programs, curricula, and seminars for the purposes of training public health professionals and researchers around issues of race, racism, and antiracism.”