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Lessons in Critical Race Theory

Racism and discrimination are the root causes of health disparities in our world. Most schools of public health fail to address these issues. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a viable framework for exploring how racial bias is reinforced at various levels in our society and exploring differences in privilege based on race. Pedagogy informed by CRT and social justice in health promotion can be an opportunity to explore relationships, social cohesion, and promote health equity. This paper explores how an undergraduate/graduate public health class at the University of North Carolina Greensboro presented materials and speakers that influenced how students perceived racism and discrimination as a public health problem. Students learned about perspective, privilege, and positionality during interviews with guests during the class. Excerpts of student essays presented in this paper demonstrate how college health courses like this one can transform, change, heal, and connect students with a world that dismantles racism and promotes health equity and justice for all. Teaching public health and social justice requires a different teaching approach and content developed in an authentic way from individuals with lived experience of social justice issues. Elevating CRT as a framework and giving voice to the historically minoritized and marginalized must be the goal of transformative pedagogy in health promotion. Now is the time.


AKA Original Research


Critical Race Theory, Social Justice, Pedagogy, Critical Pedagogy


Hartley, C. & Kelley, A. (2024). Lessons in Critical Race Theory. Allyson Kelley & Associates PLLC.

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