CIN Workshop — Confronting Racism Denial: Tools for Naming Racism and Moving to Action

About This Event

Racism is a major driver of health inequities in the United States. This workshop — hosted by Healthforce Center at UCSF as part of its 30th anniversary and in partnership with the California Improvement Network (CIN) and Cedars-Sinai Managing to Leading (M2L) — focused on naming racism as an essential tool for moving to action to advance racial health equity.

Hear remarks from Director Sunita Mutha, MD, on why this work is crucial and how Healthforce Center and its partners are advancing health equity. Then learn from Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, PhD, MPH, a family physician, epidemiologist, past president of the American Public Health Association, and current UC San Francisco Presidential Chair, on strategies for dismantling racism in health care.

The workshop is intended for health and social services leaders (broadly defined as those contributing to the health of communities) who want to better understand how racism impacts health and well-being and who are eager to take positive actions to combat the negative health impacts of racism.




Achieving racial equity requires valuing all individuals and populations equally, recognizing and rectifying historical injustices, and providing resources according to need.

Racism is a huge roadblock to achieving racial equity in the United States, yet many people are in staunch denial of its continued existence and its profoundly negative impacts on the health and well-being of the nation. Even those who acknowledge that racism exists sometimes feel ill-equipped to say the word “racism” out loud or take action to address it.

In this workshop, Dr. Jones will share allegories, definitions, frameworks, and analytic tools for understanding and acting on four key messages:

  • Racism exists.
  • Racism is a system.
  • Racism saps the strength of the whole society.
  • We can act to dismantle racism.

Workshop Structure

This 2.5-hour workshop will be divided into three segments, and after each there will be an opportunity for vigorous discussion:

  • Framing the work: anti-racism as a legitimate health intervention
  • Naming racism: communication tools for confronting racism denial
  • Moving to action: levers for intervention and the power of collective action

Dr. Jones aims to inspire participants to engage in a sustained National Campaign Against Racism, recognizing that anti-racism is a process with three sequential yet iterative tasks: name racism, ask “How is racism operating here?,” and organize and strategize to act.

After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe three dimensions of health intervention using a Cliff Analogy
  • Name the three impacts of racism as a system
  • Illustrate three levels of racism with a Gardener’s Tale allegory
  • Use the question “How is racism operating here?” to identify levers for anti-racism intervention in our structures, policies, practices, norms, and values

About the Workshop Supporters

This workshop was hosted by Healthforce Center at UCSF in partnership with the California Improvement Network (CIN) and Cedars-Sinai Managing to Leading (M2L).

Learn more about the California Improvement Network, a project of the California Health Care Foundation that is managed by Healthforce Center at UCSF, and sign up for the CIN newsletter.

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