Skip to Main Content
UVM Libraries Research Guides banner

Together We Learn: Resources for our Journeys in Justice & Inclusion


America Is Failing Its Black Mothers 

Harvard Public Health Magazine; by Amy Roeder

Winter 2019: "Like [Serena] Williams, Shalon Irving, an African American woman, was 36 when she had her baby in 2017. An epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), she wrote in her Twitter bio, “I see inequity wherever it exists, call it by name, and work to eliminate it.”

American Medicine Was Built on the Backs of Slaves and It Still Affects How Doctors Treat Patients Today

The Washington Post; by Kathleen Bachynski

June 4, 2018: "The systematic influence of institutional racism on American medicine goes far beyond any individual physician. Yet Sims’s [J. Marion Sims] career is an excellent starting point because the history of American gynecology is particularly associated with the institution of slavery."

The American Nightmare

The Atlantic; by Ibram X Kendi

June 1, 2020: To be black and conscious of anti-black racism is to stare into the mirror of your own extinction. "It happened three months before the lynching of Isadora Moreley in Selma, Alabama, and two months before the lynching of Sidney Randolph near Rockville, Maryland."

Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth: Shalon Irving's Story Explains Why

NPR, All Things Considered; by Nina Martin and Renee Montagne

December 7, 2017: "On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's 'village' — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye."

Black People are at the Center of Two Public Health Crises in the US: COVID 19 and Police Brutality

Quartz; by Annalisa Merelli

May 31, 2020: "On May 25, America witnessed yet another display of police brutality toward in Black people. A video, about nine minutes long, showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man—a father and grandfather who worked as a truck driver and security guard. Three other officers stood by."

The Cost of Racism to White People; by Paul Kivel

2002: "We tend to think of racism as a problem for people of color and something we should be concerned about for their sake. It is true that racism is devastating to them, and if we believe in justice, equality, and equal opportunity for all, then we should be trying to end it."

Myth about physical racial differences were used to justify slavery - and are still believed by doctors today. 

New York Times Magazine; by Linda Villarosa

One Researcher's Reflection on Novel Virus Driven Disparities in Black Maternal Healthcare

Forbes; Brittany Chambers

June 15, 2020: "As a graduate student, Ira Memaj began exploring the health disparities that impact many Black Americans. The Detroit grown researcher’s first project was geared to investigating chemo-resistance in ovarian cancer cells leading her to produce over 16 publications in gynecological oncology including ovarian cancer, adhesions, and fibroids."

What happened when I talked about what others ignore - racism in medicine

STAT; by Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu

April 27, 2016: "I recently wrote an essay about the racism I experienced in medical school, including the time a patient referred to me as a “colored girl” — and the senior physician in the room said nothing. I’ve received hundreds of comments. Some readers told me to “grow a thicker skin” or “stop looking for racism in every corner.” One tweeted: “People are not responsible for creating a safe space around you.”

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, excerpt from "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming To See Correspondences through Work in Women's Studies"; by Peggy McIntosh

Winter 1990: "Through work to bring materials from women's studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged."

White Supremacy Culture

Minnesota Historical Society, Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement; by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun

2001: "This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture which show up in our organizations. Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify."

Why America's Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis

The New York Times Magazine; by Linda Villarosa

April 11, 2018

Why Black Doctors Like Me Are Leaving Medicine

STAT; by Uché Blackstock

January 16, 2020: "Diversifying the health care workforce to reflect patient populations is one solution. But that is a tall order when health care work environments can be unwelcoming and discriminatory to Black health care providers."


Article Collections

Anti-racism in Medicine 

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) MedEd Portal