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13 February 2023

Professor Camara Jones joins new global commission to address racism in health

The O’Neill-Lancet Commission seeks to identify anti-racist strategies to improve health around the world.

Camara Phyllis Jones

Professor Camara Phyllis Jones, an expert in anti-racism in health and a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at King’s, is one of five US experts to recently join a new global commission, formed to address racism and structural discrimination in health.

The three-year Commission will promote anti-racist strategies and actions that will reduce barriers to health and wellbeing facing communities on the basis of race, ethnicity, tribe, caste, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ability, class, geography or religion.

Recognising that racism, rather than race, creates and maintains unjust and available health inequities in countries around the world, it will investigate specific outcomes seen across countries and consult communities to understand their causes and impact.

The Commission will also set out to examine and challenge current global health governance systems and structures, as it recognises that global health financing and foreign aid between colonial powers and formerly colonised regions are shaped by the legacy of these relationships.

Professor Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD is a family physician, epidemiologist and Past President of the American Public Health Association, whose work focuses on naming, measuring and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and wellbeing of the United States and the world.

She is celebrated for her allegories on "race" and racism, teaching stories which illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many people to understand or discuss.

I have confronted the racism denial so staunchly held by so many with allegories that illustrate four key messages: 1) racism exists; 2) racism is a system; 3) racism saps the strength of the whole society; and 4) we can act to dismantle racism.

Professor Camara Phyllis Jones

Professor Camara Phyllis Jones: “I look forward to learning from work on ‘race’, racism and anti-racism that is going on across the globe. And then I hope that we will link these efforts, because collective action is power.”

Professor Jones is currently a Leverhulme Visiting Professor in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King's, spending the 2022-2023 academic year focused on building research capacity in anti-racism and health.

The Commission, titled O’Neill-Lancet Commission on Racism, Structural Discrimination and Global Health, includes 20 experts from across the globe, spanning across academic, medicine, law and civil-society leaders, and aims to bridge work on public health, racial discrimination, law, human rights and public policy.

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Camara Phyllis  Jones

Leverhulme Visiting Professor