This storm now didn't come out of nowhere
—it had a starting place, a home and womb
—far back it began, brother, sister,
—far back, sweetheart. Carl Sandburg, Storms Begin Far Back
Health equity is defined by the World Health Organization as the “absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among social groups.” Domestically and globally, health inequity is not a historical accident. Inequity today is not unfortunate—that is, not a product of a mere turn of the proverbial cosmic wheel—but unjust—that is, generated by colonial, White supremacist policies and practices structured and maintained over time, forged to persist in hierarchies that serve some of us, our ancestors, and our descendants well and some of us, our ancestors, and our descendants ill. This second of a 2-part theme issue focuses specifically on racial and ethnic inequity in morbidity, mortality, and access to services that are endemic to American life. We investigate health inequity as a product of transgenerational patterns of oppression that must be remediated by all of us compassionately and more deliberately and quickly than they were created.
. . . being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it's the past we step into
and how we repair it Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb
LaShyra Nolen, the first Black woman to serve as Harvard Medical School’s student council president, joins us to discuss health equity, community engagement, and the future of health professional school curricular design.