cussed the stress and racism that may have contributed to the premature birth of her infant.
After viewing the segment, a member of the audience commented that while the segment focused on African American women, similar outcomes are observed with Hispanic women, most dramatically among Puerto Rican women, and opined that this affects all women of color. Disparities within ethnic groups were also discussed, as some subgroups within Latino and Asian ethnic groups suffer from higher rates of illness and disease than other subgroups within the same ethnic group. For example, recent Mexican immigrants, despite being poorer, have better health than other Latinos already living in the United States.
Another participant commented that while direct implications of racism in health care are easy to see, there are also indirect effects of institutional racism, specifically neglect. She highlighted the increasing prevalence of HIV among African Americans and Latinos and the associated lack of money for programs to address HIV in these populations as an example of such neglect.
One example of a successful community initiative in Flint, Michigan, part of the REACH program, was cited by another participant. Workshops conducted in the community bring people together to discuss what is needed in terms of undoing racism. They are having productive conversations, and change is occurring, the participant noted. For example, over the last 6 years, a 25 percent reduction in infant mortality among African American women has been observed. Another participant noted, however, that it is only the REACH program in Flint that has seen such a reduction in infant mortality.
Although overall infant mortality rates have decreased over the years, they are still disproportionately high among African American and other women of color. Thompson urged participants to continue the dialogue in their communities and organizations to address disparities especially across races, sectors, and genders.