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Segregation and Health
Description: The words
racial segregation bring to mind images from a bygone era, such as water fountains and other public facilities marked as for use by
Whites Only. The passage of civil rights laws forbade that kind of legalized segregation, but in many ways, the United States remains just as segregated as before those laws were passed. The result is a cascade of limited access to critical resources and opportunities, and overexposure to negative neighborhood features and public policies. This course examines the connection between two of the United States’ most stark racial inequities: Black-White residential segregation and Black-White health disparities. For many diseases and health conditions, Black people in the U.S. have higher prevalence, more severe disease, and higher mortality rates. This health portrait is not attributable solely to restricted access to medical care; so what are the causes? In this class we will examine racial residential segregation as the cornerstone upon which Black-White health disparities are built. We will seek to answer questions such as: What are the mechanisms through which Black neighborhoods have been and continue to be segregated? How do predominantly Black neighborhoods differ from predominantly White neighborhoods? What impact does segregation have on education, income and wealth, environmental exposures, neighborhood amenities, criminal justice, and more? Taken together, how does racial segregation affect health disparities in the United States? This seminar draws on interdisciplinary social science and public health scholarship, and is open to juniors and seniors.
Historic Course Instructors: