Racism is a root cause of health inequities.   


A local movement, led by Becker County Energize, is leading work to address racial equity.    If you are interested in joining the conversation about how to improve racial equity please contact us for more information.  

Karen.Pifher@EssentiaHealth.org     Phone: 218-255-3919

Health Equity and Race 

“Race and ethnicity are socially constructed categories that have tangible effects on the lives of individuals who are defined by how one perceives one’s self and how one is perceived by others. It is important to acknowledge the social construction (i.e., created from prevailing social perceptions, historical policies, and practices) of the concepts of race and ethnicity because it has implications for how measures of race have been used and changed over time. Furthermore, the concept of race is complex, with a rich history of scientific and philosophical debate as to the nature of race. Racial and ethnic disparities are arguably the most obstinate inequities in health over time, despite the many strides that have been made to improve health in the United States. Moreover, race and ethnicity are extremely prominent factors when examining health inequity. Therefore, solutions for health equity need to take into account the social, political, and historical context of race and ethnicity in this country.”

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on Community-Based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States. Editors: Alina Baciu, Yamrot Negussie, Amy Geller, and James N. Weinstein. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2017 Jan 11.



For more information about racism, health equity, tools for organizations and building resilient and equitable communities check out the resources below.  

Fostering Equity

Learn about the history of structural racism and how communities can foster equity.   

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Understanding how you experience White Privilege.  

Racial Equity Toolkit

A Government and programmatic approach to building equity.    

Books about racism

A list of recommended reading materials to learn more about racism.   

Localizing Racism

Resources and information on the legacy of injustices against Native Americans.