Black Lives Matter: Antiracism and Health Suggested Resources

As the country - and the world - mourns the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the cruel killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and the long history of cruelty to Black people in the United States, it is important that we take pause to reflect and listen. As Faculty of Medicine Dean George Daley made clear in his message to the HMS community over the weekend, this violence and the disproportionate harm to the Black community from COVID-19 share a common cause: deeply ingrained (structural) racism. Learn more about Harvard Medical School’s work on this front by visiting the HMS Diversity Statement and our mission and values.

The American Medical Association statement “Police brutality must stop” recognizes that violence between law enforcement and the public is a critical determinant of health and calls for research into its public health consequences. In another statement, David Skorton, MD (AAMC president and CEO) and David Acosta, MD (AAMC chief diversity and inclusion officer) proclaim that, "racism is antithetical to the oaths and moral responsibilities we accepted as health professionals who have dedicated our lives to advancing the health of all." Speaking on behalf of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), Karen West, DMD, MPH, offered a "pledge to work ... to help achieve a society free of discrimination and full of opportunity for all." The American Public Health Association statement states strongly that “racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now!”

It is the responsibility of every one of us to educate ourselves and actively work to dismantle racism. As Countway Library Director Elaine Martin put it earlier today, "I am not Ok with this. It's OK if you are not OK with this too."

The following resources are suggested tools to help the Longwood community with this project. It is not exhaustive and tries to focus on works that address racism as a health issue. Some books may be more easily accessed through a public library, such as the Boston Public Library (information on how to sign up for a card). If there are other titles that should be part of the library collection, share them with us using Ask Countway.




  • COVID-19 Webinar Series by HMS Global Health and Social Medicine, Blavatnik Institute
    • “The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Blavatnik Institute, Harvard Medical School, held a webinar series around COVID-19 and the implications of health and social medicine both in our community and globally.”
  • 13th by Ava DuVernay
    • “Ava DuVernay's examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.”
  • Deconstructing White Privilege by Robin DiAngelo
    • Includes a study guide and additional resources
  • The Problem with Race-Based Medicine (TED Talk) by Dorothy Roberts
    • "It is more urgent than ever to finally abandon this backward legacy," Roberts says, "and to affirm our common humanity by ending the social inequalities that truly divide us."


Articles & Websites