The Greater Flint Health Coalition is devoted to dealing with racial and ethnic
disparities in health care, especially in those areas in which the Coalition has committees/task forces working on a specific health issues; i.e. diabetes, sedentary lifestyles, and infant mortality.
As a partner in the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (R.E.A.C.H.) 2010 grant from 2000 to 2007, the Coalition coordinated “Undoing Racism Workshops” conducted by the People’s Institute for Survival & Beyond, a New Orleans based organization.
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health CareThis principle based 2½ day workshop is designed to help participants develop their own analysis of history, culture, and power relationships. While the Institute’s training and mentoring are specific to each community, the process of “Undoing Racism” has consistent principles and practices that make up a model for social transformation through community organizing and leadership development. If racism in our country has been consciously and systematically constructed, it can—and should—be deconstructed and eliminated. That is the goal of Undoing Racism Workshops.
Funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation helped support the workshops from 1997 to 2000, when the now-defunct Community Coalition led the effort. From 2000 to 2007, the Greater Flint Health Coalition organized and sponsored 23 workshops, with $400,000 in funding assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the REACH 2010 grant led by the Genesee County Health Department.
Since the workshops began in 1997, almost 1,400 community members have participated. Many of the area’s major organizations encouraged their employees to participate in the project. Those who have participated in the workshop believe it has been inspiring, educational, eye-opening, and effective. An evaluation of the preliminary 12 workshops hosted by the Coalition indicated a number of this area’s leaders intended to move forward with anti-racism efforts within their own organizations. Nonetheless, at an evaluation presentation of the workshops held in 2006, nearly 30% of attendees indicated they believe people in Genesee County are becoming more racist. Clearly, more work needs to be done if we are to reduce racism in our community.
While REACH 2010 has ended, the Coalition remains a dedicated partner committed to addressing Racial Disparities and Anti-Racism Activities.