Data systems that only document racial health disparities without measuring the inequities and racism that fuels them contribute to the problem. This failure results in a society such as ours where health disparities are often perceived as biological or behavioral rather than structural. It's a system that stigmatizes. RWJF president and CEO Richard Besser explains that properly measuring and understanding racism, and investing in the public health infrastructure to collect, aggregate and analyze data, are essential steps toward ensuring every person in the United States has a fair and just opportunity to live a healthier life.
Factors such as our race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status should not play a role in how healthy we are or how long we live. Unfortunately, for many of us, they do. Through a range of programs, RWJF is working to help identify and address the root causes of America's health inequality—because everyone deserves an equal opportunity to pursue a healthier life.