Digital Literature Table: Racism and Racial Equity (updated 2021)

**this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of resources. Please visit and for additional information.



National Academy of Medicine Culture of Health Program

Conversations on COVID-19: Impacts on Communities of Color

Reducing Racial Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System (Ongoing Consensus Study)

Improving the Representation of Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Clinical Trials and Research (Ongoing Consensus Study)



Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis (2021)

This report on rental eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic notes that “experiences with racism and discrimination negatively influences housing stability, a phenomenon amplified by the pandemic.”

Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice (2020)

This report on equitable care for mothers and newborns notes that “racism and discrimination—both in the health care system and in everyday life—have a well-documented impact on the health of marginalized communities.”

Leading Health Indicators 2030: Advancing Health, Equity, and Well-Being (2020)

A report on Leading Health Indicators for 2030 noted that “the repeated exposure to chronic stressors attributable to racism and discrimination causes more rapid deterioration in the health of African Americans.”

Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care (2003)

This report focused on confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care found that “racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare exist, and because they are associated with worse outcomes in many cases, are unacceptable.”

Community Violence as a Population Health Issue (2017)

When addressing violence at a community level, a 2017 workshop summary notes that “the health system can intervene … with a trauma-informed framework … [but] it cannot avoid dealing with racism.”

Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity (2016)

A 2016 workshop summary on how to address racism to advance health equity notes that “ignoring the significant contribution made by structural racism makes it much more difficult to reverse the trajectory of health inequities.”

The Effects of Incarceration and Reentry on Community Health and Well-Being (2020)

“Mass incarceration is marked by huge racial disparities – African Americans are 3.6 times as likely to be incarcerated as whites”, and a 2020 workshop summary goes on to outline the enormous negative health impacts mass incarceration has on communities.

Critical Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life (2004)

This 2004 report outlines a framework that characterizes racism as a source of acute and chronic stress for people of color, and how experiencing racism  leads to “stress responses, followed by coping responses” which can be the source of health inequities.

No Time to Lose: Getting More from HIV Prevention (2001)

“Historical accounts of racism in the medical establishment (e.g., the Tuskegee Syphilis Study) have fostered a lack of trust in the modern health care system among some minority groups.” A 2001 report emphasizes how racism may negatively impact prevention efforts.

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity (2017)

This 2017 report examines how to holistically address health equity, and examines the impacts of racism on health in detail, including how “the adverse health impacts of racism appear to stem primarily from the stress of chronic exposure to seemingly minor forms of “everyday racism.”

The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth (2019)

A 2019 report reviews how to support and ensure best outcomes for adolescents, while identifying stark differences in health outcomes between white, Black, and Latinx youth, driven significantly by disparities in violence.

Perspectives on Health Equity & Social Determinants of Health (2015)

This 2015 NAM Special Publication provides a broad overview of approaches, drawn from a variety of disciplines and schools of thought, on how to address adverse health impacts and health inequities stemming from discrimination, racism, and structural inequities.

Contagion of Violence (2013)

This 2013 IOM and NRC report on the contagion of violence discusses the importance of building community bonds and breaking down institutional racism within the police force and justice system to prevent future violence from occurring.

A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health (2016)

This 2016 IOM report examines how structural racism and other forms of unfair and unjust discrimination create health disparities among segments of the population, and provides a framework for educating health professionals to address the social determinants of health.

Balancing the Scales of Opportunity: Ensuring Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Health Professions (1994)

A 1994 IOM report on ensuring racial and ethnic diversity in the health professions discusses the historical significance of underrepresentation of non-white populations and identifies underlying factors that contribute to the failure to achieve fairness in career opportunities.

Promoting Health: Intervention Strategies from Social and Behavioral Research (2000)

A 2000 IOM report discusses several ways that racism affects health disparities, including through residential and economic discrimination. Itincludes evidence that suggests that the prevalence of negative stereotypes and cultural images of stigmatized groups can negatively impact their overall health.

Opportunities to Address Clinical Research Workforce Diversity Needs for 2010 (2006)

This 2006 study recommends ways to recruit and retain more women and underrepresented minorities into clinical research, especially physician-scientists and nurses.

Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity (2019)

Institutional racism and interpersonal experiences of discrimination can influence the health and well-being of children, as detailed in this report from 2019.

The Best Intentions: Unintended Pregnancy and the Well-Being of Children and Families (1995)

A 1995 study describes several ways that historical and ongoing racism are responsible for the disparities in various aspects of reproductive health for Black women.

Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity (2019)

A 2019 report includes an overview of the stressors that can affect child development and recommendations for improving systems to better support health equity.

Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise (2010)

When focusing on women’s health research, an IOM committee found that there were disparities in maternal health outcomes based on race.

In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health-Care Workforce (2004)

Assessing the potential benefits of greater racial and ethnic diversity among health professionals will improve the access to and quality of healthcare for all Americans. This 2004 report identifies institutional and policy-level mechanisms to garner broad support to implement strategies to increase racial and ethnic diversity.

The Unequal Burden of Cancer: An Assessment of NIH Research and Programs for Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved (1999)

A 1999 IOM report provides an authoritative view of cancer as it is experienced by ethnic minorities and the medically underserved, along with background data on the nation’s struggle against cancer, activities and expenditures of the NIH, and other relevant topics.

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