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By Checkna Diawara, Nithya Gurumurthy, Sarah Prosser, and Odi Uhegwu


In this playlist, five individuals across North Carolina share their experiences with racial health disparities, as well as how those inequalities affected their lives and the lives of others. Bill Kearney, a reverend from Warren County, discusses racial segregation in the area, and how the such forms of discrimination contributes to the disparties experienced by the region’s African American communities. Crystal DeShazor is an African American woman from Danville, Virginia. With occupational experience as a community health worker, DeShazor discusses how lack of knowledge becomes a barrier to gaining adequate health. DeShazor goes on to share how she believes informing people of better health practices and lifestyle changes is much more effective at improving community health, as opposed to belittling those who make uninformed, unhealthy lifestyle choices. Jeanie Franklin, a retired superintendent living in Warren County, reflects on her experiences with racial segregation and the implications it posed to receiving adequate healthcare. Lata Chaterjee, an Asian American professor from Pittsboro North Carolina, speaks about her unpleasant encounter with a health clinic while she was sick. Physicians assumed Chaterjee had fallen ill due to a tropical illness, causing her to undergo multiple tests only to discover she had mononucleosis (mono). Chaterjee shares the frustrations of her experience and attributes the doctor’s false judgements to racial prejudice as a result of her immigrant status. Thomas Watson, an African American employee at UNC Hospitals, describes his experiences with race relations in his work environment. Through his encounters with prejudice coworkers in a racially segregated workplace, Watson sheds light on racial segregation from a healthcare worker’s perspective. Through the stories of Watson, Chaterjee, Franklin, DeShazor, and Kearney, the realities of racial segregation, prejudice, and bias are shared from a variety of perspectives. By sharing their narratives, these people help listeners gain a deeper understanding of the different factors contributing to racial health disparities, and how it affects both patients and practitioners in healthcare.

Student Essays

When Given the Choice, Who Would You Choose?

By Sarah Prosser Introduction The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (U.S. Department of Labor). However, the year is now 2021, and persons of color continue to experience … Read more

Impact of Residential Segregation On Racial Health Disparities

By Checkna Diawara Bagayoko Introduction In a time where the world is recovering from a global pandemic, opinions surrounding healthcare are more relevant than they have been many years. In December of 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention … Read more

Intersectionality and Racial Health Disparities

By Odi Uhegwu Introduction Intersectionality allows for the understanding of several identities that a person possesses that are different but not independent of each other.  These identities include race, sex, gender identity, class, sexual orientation, ability, etc.  It is important … Read more

Healthcare Inequalities Varying by Race

By Nithya Gurumurthy Introduction Racism in America affects people of color in multiple aspects of their daily lives, however, healthcare discrimination is especially impactful, as these inequities can have impacts that can be carried past health detriments. Racism in healthcare … Read more