Call to Action: Structural Racism as a Fundamental Driver of Health Disparities

Published: November 10, 2020

Senior patient looking through window at hospital
  • Recognizing structural racism as a fundamental cause of persistent health and disease disparities, this Presidential Advisory reviews the historical context, current state, and potential future solutions to address structural racism in the US.
  • The Advisory highlights key principles (that racism and its adverse consequences persist; that racism is experienced; and that the task of dismantling racism belongs to all of society, and not only victimized groups) and calls out the need for change in conditions of historically marginalized communities, improvement in the quality of education, housing and neighborhood environments of affected populations, advocacy for policies that eliminate inequities in access to and quality of healthcare, the development of an antiracism research agenda, and enhancement of common purpose and allyship among racial and ethnic groups.
  • Structural racism is a barrier to the AHA’s goal to improve the cardiovascular (CV) health of all people, and this Advisory is a call to action to bring attention to and identify strategies and solutions to eliminate structural racism in the U.S.; including leveraging the AHA’s scientific enterprise, education, quality improvement, and advocacy to support a national awareness of structural racism and promote a national reconciliation around race.