Antiracist Praxis in Public Health: A Call for Ethical Reflections

Hastings Cent Rep. 2021 Mar;51(2):6-9. doi: 10.1002/hast.1240.


The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed myriad social, economic, and health inequities that disproportionately burden populations that have been made medically or socially vulnerable. Inspired by state and local governments that declared racism a public health crisis or emergency, the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2020 reflects a shifting paradigm in which racism is considered a social determinant of health. Indeed, health inequities fundamentally rooted in structural racism have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which calls for the integration of antiracist praxis to promote ethical public health research processes. This commentary describes ways in which antiracist praxis-which emphasizes empowerment of traditionally marginalized populations-offers strategies to explicitly address power imbalance, stigmatization, and other consequences of structural racism in public health research.

Keywords: Covid-19 health inequities; antiracist praxis; ethical research; structural racism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / ethnology*
  • Codes of Ethics
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities / trends*
  • Humans
  • Public Health* / ethics
  • Public Health* / methods
  • Public Health* / standards
  • Racism* / prevention & control
  • Racism* / trends
  • Social Determinants of Health* / ethics
  • Social Determinants of Health* / standards
  • Social Discrimination / prevention & control
  • Social Marginalization
  • United States