Type: Public event

Theorizing and Measuring Racism as a Multifaceted, Interconnected, and Fundamental Cause of Health Inequities

with Dr. Whitney Pirtle


Dr. Whitney Pirtle

Date & time

Feb 20, 2024, 4:30-6:00 pm EST


Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom, Rm 1110
735 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Racism is a multifaceted, interconnected, and fundamental cause of racialized health inequities. As such, racism impacts who gets sick, who dies, and who is able to live healthy. In this talk Dr. Pirtle will overview interventions of her empirical research, informed by critical race theory, that utilizes multidimensional measures of race and structural measures of racism to explore health outcomes for Black, Latinx, and other populations of color. The talk demonstrates that using theoretically informed measures of race and racism help us refine our understanding of racialized health associations and clarifies mechanisms of structural racism that shape contemporary racialized health inequities. Collectively, the discussion helps think through equitable interventions that can facilitate better health for more of us. Dr. Pirtle is the inaugural Racial Justice and Anti-Racism Collaborative Visiting Scholar.

The Racial Justice and Anti-Racism Collaborative Visiting Scholars Program is hosted by The Center for Racial Justice and the Anti-Racism Collaborative.


About the Speaker

Dr. Whitney Pirtle is an Associate Professor of Sociology and MacArthur Foundation Chair in International Justice and Human Rights at the University of California, Merced, where she also directs the Sociology of Health and Equity (SHE) Lab. Dr. Pirtle is sociologist with interdisciplinary and subject area expertise in race and racism; health disparities and health equity; social problems and social justice; Black feminist sociology and praxis; and mixed methodologies. Recent research includes writing on Covid-19 pandemic inequities, institutional anti-Blackness, and in 2021 she co-edited Black Feminist Sociology: Perspectives and Praxis with Zakiya Luna. She is currently completing two book manuscripts, one of race in post-apartheid South Africa and the other is under contract with Polity Press tentatively titled, Black Identities: The Expansiveness of Blackness in the US.

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