The city of St. Louis, MO is taking a proactive stance in the fight against systemic racism. Through the Community Opportunities program, the city has implemented a comprehensive anti-racism program that seeks to address the root causes of racism and inequality. This program includes a survey to evaluate changes in the perception of understanding of the topics addressed in the magazine club, as well as a curriculum for understanding systemic racism that will be implemented gradually over several years.
The first episode of the program, Reimagining Community Partnerships, was produced with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). It analyzes anti-racist health policies and structural racism in the health system, and was created with the help of the Consortium Against Racism. The survey results showed an increase in comfort when talking about race, as well as an increased understanding of systemic racism and awareness about the history of race in St. Louis.
Barbeau and Jabulani discussed the disparities in black maternal health they encountered during their pregnancies and other pressing issues faced by black people in the emergency health care system, and tips for empowering community members. The consortium is also working to develop complementary programs to educate practicing doctors and scientists on the fight against racism and issues related to social justice in medicine and science. The journal club is playing an important role in addressing both COVID-19 and generational systemic racism. It is essential to include these complementary curricula in doctorate programs in medicine across the country.
It is also important for other program directors to create a space in which debates about how to address racism come to the forefront as one of the program's commitments.