Black Lives Matter Less: How Structural Racism Affects Health

Course Description

Using a public health lens, this course will feature facilitated discussions, readings, and other content around structural racism and the health of individuals in society. The goal is to help you understand the contemporary hierarchical racial system in the US, to critique structures and systems that enforce and maintain this hierarchy, and to link these to health inequities.

You will be challenged to consider your own privilege within these structures, and how that privilege affects your health and position in the larger society. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, this class is uniquely positioned to help you think through public health disparities such as those now receiving broader media attention due to the pandemic.

The course materials include various representations of racially disparate laws and policies, clips from the public media (articles, news reports, viral videos), and scholarly critiques and commentaries on structural racism and health written by Black academics. You will also be assigned to read articles that provide a historical context of white supremacy in the US.

This is an excellent course for high school students who want to:
• Understand how history affects the current treatment of Black and Brown people in the US
• Discuss health inequities in light of the current pandemic
• Learn how to create safe spaces to have sensitive discussions about race and privilege
• Organize your peers and communities around an agenda of social justice.

The capstone of this course will be a demonstration, forum, or other activity devised by you to engage in public discussion around racism and health.


This class is open to students of any age. College-level reading materials (scholarly journal articles) will be assigned. The content of the class will include explicit depictions of police brutality, as commonly presented in the news media.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 20, 2022 - July 01, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Kathryn Thompson
Course Number: 10401