APHA book on racism honored as outstanding title for 2020

Date: Dec 03 2020

Contact: Media Relations

“Racism: Science &Tools for the Public Health Professional,” a groundbreaking book published by APHA Press that helped catapult health equity into the national conversation on racism, has been selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2020 by Choice magazine, official journal of the American Library Association.

The book explores racism's influence on health and the structural and interpersonal forms of racism, offering important insights not only for public health professionals but also for students, policymakers and anyone interested in rooting out racism.

Published last year, the book builds on the health equity work public health advocates and others have been doing for decades. It was honored by Choice magazine based on such criteria as overall excellence and relevance.

“We are honored by the book’s selection, and it comes at no better time. The debate over racism and health inequities has intensified over the past year, and this book truly enhanced our discourse,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, the parent organization of APHA Press.

The book’s development was led by the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with support from the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University. In its two dozen chapters, diverse scholars delve into topics such as the health effects of racism, policing and mass incarceration, the lasting effects of segregation, and antiracism approaches.

The book’s editors are:

  • Chandra L. Ford, PhD, MPH, MLIS, director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and an associate professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Community Health Sciences;
  • Derek M. Griffith, PhD, director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health and a professor of medicine, health and society at Vanderbilt University;
  • Marino A. Bruce, PhD, MSRC, MDiv, CRC, a research associate professor of medicine, health and society at Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University; and 
  • Keon L. Gilbert, DrPH, associate professor of behavior science and health education, in the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University and co-founder of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity.

The book documents health inequities and how to combat them and is intended for a wide range of settings, such as health departments, schools and in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. It also can be a helpful reference tool or text for courses or workshops.

“I want members of diverse communities everywhere to know that public health has not always treated diverse communities fairly, but there have always been people fighting for justice and equity from within the field,” Ford said.

Public health researchers and practitioners need to know that “racism is indeed a public health issue,” she said. “We have a responsibility to address it.”



The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.