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Critical Conversations with the STRYVE Action Council
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Critical Conversations on the Intersections

of Structural Racism, Youth, and

Community Well-being


The STRYVE Action Council, in partnership with the Safe States Alliance, presents a series of “critical conversations” with national public health experts and youth on how structural racism is impacting the health and safety of young people across the country.

During this series of “critical conversation,” panelists from the STRYVE Action Council, a multidisciplinary consortium of organizations working to build safe, healthy, inclusive, and equitable communities that allow youth from every background to thrive, will explore and discuss the interconnected nature of structural racism and health outcomes.


Session 1 - Unpacking the Impacts of Structural Racism on Youth

June 29, 2020 | 2:00 PM EDT

Access the archived recording here.

During this inaugural “critical conversation,” panelists will discuss the many areas in which structural racism exists and how it adversely impacts the lives of youth. Racism is ubiquitous and exists within all structures that touch the daily lives of youth, including the criminal justice system, educational systems, housing, and the economy. Panelists from organizations representing public health, psychology, community development, and youth engagement will share their perspectives, experiences, and work related to addressing structural racism. Panelists will participate in open dialogue and engage with attendees to discuss opportunities to work toward change.


  • Mighty Fine, MPH, Director of the Center for Public Health Practice and Professional Development at the American Public Health Association (APHA)
  • Miyah Hull, APA Youth Advisory Board member
  • Sheila B. Savannah, MA, Managing Director at Prevention Institute
  • Brian D. Smedley, PhD, Chief of Psychology in the Public Interest and Acting Chief Diversity Officer, American Psychological Association (APA)


  • Dr. Jamila Porter, Director of Programs and Evaluation, Safe States Alliance


Recommended Resources

Below is a list of resources offered by STRYVE Action Council members and panelists related to structural racism. We will be adding to this continually, so be sure to check back. If you have a resource to suggest, please email

Definitions of Structural Racism:

    • A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead, it has been a feature of the social, economic, and political systems in which we all exist. (The Aspen Institute, "Glossary for Understanding the Dismantling Structural Racism/Promoting Racial Equity Analysis)
    • Structural racism in the U.S. is “the normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal – that routinely advantage whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. It is a system of hierarchy and inequity, primarily characterized by white supremacy – the preferential treatment, privilege and power for white people at the expense of Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Arab and other racially oppressed people.” (Lawrence, K. and Keleher, T., Chronic Disparity: Strong and Pervasive Evidence of Racial Inequalities, Poverty Outcomes, Structural Racism, 2004)
    • Racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call "race"), that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources. (Jones, C., "Confronting Institutionalized Racism," 2003)

    STRYVE Action Council Member statements and resources on racism and health equity:


    Related articles and studies:


    Learn more about the STRYVE Action Council and its organizational members here.


    If you have any questions about this series, please contact the Safe States Alliance at or (770) 690-9000.



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