CPRC Seminar - Nov 15

Columbia Population Research Center

is pleased to invite you to: 

Critical Race Theory (CRT), Public Health Critical Race Praxis (PHCRP), and Health Equity Research"

presented by Chandra Ford

Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences



Thursday, November 15, 2018

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Room C03

Columbia University School of Social Work

1255 Amsterdam Avenue


Registration required at https://cupop.formstack.com/forms/rsvp_alt

Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to attend at the Columbia School of Social Work.



The relationship between racial or ethnic health inequities and racism is the focus of a rapidly expanding body of work within the field of public health. In contrast to conventional, colorblind research, which tends to attribute poor health outcomes to characteristics of the racial/ethnic minority populations under study, this emerging body of research names racism explicitly and attempts to measure its effects or associations directly. Collectively, the findings document the presence of various forms of racism in clinical and non-clinical settings; quantify associations between health outcomes and specific racism variables (e.g., interpersonal discrimination, segregation); and, suggest racism can be defined as a public health issue. 

Despite their important contributions to the field, few studies in this literature are rooted in Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT, which originated as such in the field of law, is a set of sophisticated conceptual and methodological tools that scholars across a wide range of disciplines use to guide their study of racial phenomena. Health equity studies, including those targeting racism and health, that do not engage CRT may undertheorize racial exposures and their health implications.

This talk examines ways in which Critical Race Theory can move health equity methods beyond exclusively data-driven approaches. Whether and how to apply CRT empirically is the subject of some debate; therefore, it also presents several of these points. The Public Health Critical Race Praxis (PHCRP) is an approach that guides researchers in applying CRT principles to health equity methods. The talk describes PHCRP and explores its relationship to both critical race studies and the field of public health. Finally, just as critical race studies can inform public health, insights gleaned from public health can inform critical race studies as practiced in law and other disciplines. The talk highlights some of these potential contributions.


Dr. Ford is Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Health in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Prior to joining UCLA, she completed postdoctoral training in Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she was a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Kellogg Health Scholar. Overall, Dr. Ford’s research: (1) examines relationships between racism-related factors and disparities in the HIV care continuum; and, (2) advances the conceptual and methodological tools available to study racism’s relationship to health disparities. 

Her work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, the Annals of Epidemiology, Social Science & Medicine, the Wisconsin Law Review, and other refereed journals. 

She serves the profession widely. In 2016, she was named to the National Academy of Medicine Committee on Community-based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and she was appointed co-chair of the Committee on Science of the American Public Health Association’s newly formed Anti-Racism Collaborative. Prior service includes serving on the Board of Directors and as President of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues.


For additional information regarding the Fall 2018 CPRC Seminar Series please visit: http://cupop.columbia.edu/events/seminar-series/cprc-seminars