“We must treat the disease of racism. This means we must understand the disease.” S. Shriver

Leading for Racial Equity: Examining Structural Issues of Race and Class

HBEH 720 (section 001) 2.0 credits, Fall 2021

First offered in the fall of 2014, this professional interdisciplinary course prepares University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health graduate students in the EQUITY concentration to become effective leaders in an increasingly diverse world.  The goal is to provide graduate students with a framework that directs them to critically analyze institutions, rather than characteristics of individuals and groups, in order to understand institutional legacy, response, and accountability to different populations.  This course also engages with local community members as an element of the pedagogy through assigned research projects. This interactive nature of the course will allow all participants to learn from the perspectives of others with different backgrounds and in different stages of life.

Our experience and direct feedback from former students and colleagues suggest that in order to successfully promote equitable outcomes in chosen fields, current and future leaders must understand the legacy of racism in American institutions. Students and agents of change require a framework that directs them to analyze social institutions, rather than characteristics of individuals and groups, in order to develop appropriate institutional responses and accountability to the communities they serve. Training future leaders on how racial inequities are produced by systemic bias and the related practices of institutions is critical to achieve meaningful change in societal outcomes.

Students are strongly recommended to complete an intensive two-day training with the Racial Equity Institute LLC on the explicit and subtle ways that racialized patterns in American culture, policies, and practices permeate political, economic, and social structures.