It takes 21 days to form a habit. 

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Week 4: Public Health 
Today's Challenge: Racism and Toxic Stress 
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Welcome to the last week of the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge. People of color suffer worse health outcomes than white people, especially when considering income and other factors. Learn why these disparities aren't about race, but racism. Today, we are talking about the health impact toxic stress has on people of color when exposed to discrimination.

We Challenge You To Take...

Being Black is bad for your health. And pervasive racism is the cause. The data is stark: Black women are up to four times more likely to die of pregnancy related complications than white women. Black men are more than twice as likely to be killed by police as white men. And the average life expectancy of African Americans is four years lower than the rest of the U.S. population. Read why these bleak statistics have helped convince more than 20 cities and counties and at least three states to declare racism a public health crisis.
Watch this TED Talk about how research has found that higher levels of discrimination are associated with a broad range of negative health outcomes such as obesity, high blood pressure, breast cancer, heart disease, and early death.
Listen to this podcast about the effect that chronic stress and frequent racist encounters can have on the health of people of color.  The article also features a case study on how a large-scale ICE raid in Iowa impacted the health of pregnant Latinx women across the state. 
Read this article about how the mental burdens of bias, trauma, and family hardship lead to unequal life outcomes for girls and women, particularly those of color.

Public Health Week Action Items

Talk to your company/organization's HR department about their parental leave policy and other systems in place to support new parents.

Write a letter to your local elected officials urging them to declare racism a public health crisis. Chattanooga and Memphis already have. Here is a list of Knoxville's City Council members. 
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