National Conversation on Racism in Public Health Sparked by San Antonio Councilwoman

The Dean of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health promised to convene a national conversation about racism in public health at the conclusion of a livestreamed broadcast interview with San Antonio Councilwoman Ana Sandoval.

Dean Michelle A. Williams made the pledge after Sandoval conveyed a question from Dr. Lyssa Ochoa, a San Antonio vascular surgeon, who asked:

"How can other healthcare professionals work with you to acknowledge racism in public health?  How do we come together and work for a common  goal?"

"Let's commit to share our stories," Williams said to a broadcast audience of more than 100 people. "I will convene a conversation on that issue."

Williams recently drew national attention for an opinion column published in the Washington Post, "Racism is killing black people. It's sickening them too." 

Sandoval, an alumni of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, invited Williams to share a conversation about racism as public health crisis as the nation comes to terms with the deep racial disparities in death rates from COVID-19 and to video of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died when a White policeman held a knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes.

"Once we can see it, we can solve it," said Sandoval.

Replay the wide-ranging conversation here: