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Head of Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition Calls for Public Policy Changes to Address Racism

Zoom photo of panel
Cuyahoga Community College
Winston Thompson from Ohio State University (top right), moderated the panel featuring Yvonka Marie Hall of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition (top left), Dr. Sherrie Williams of Case Western Reserve University (lower left), and Dr. J. Nwando Olayiwola from Ohio State University.

Medical and political leaders around Ohio have declared racism a public health crisis. And the head of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition says addressing that will have to be a matter of public policy.

During an online panel discussion at Cuyahoga Community College Wednesday, Yvonka Marie Hall, head of the coalition, pointed to infant mortality rates as an example. She says they have not changed for African-Americans since the Civil War.

Yvonka Marie Hall
Hall: racism persists

“And one of things that has not changed is racism. All of these things tie back to health—lack of education, lack of affordable and available housing, around employment issues—all of those take us back to whether people will live or die,” Hall said.

As part of the panel, Hall invited people to join the YWCA’s 21-Day Challenge for Racial Equity and Social Justice, which begins March 1.

The entire panel discussion on racism as a public health crisis is available here.