The 2020 ISTSS Annual Meeting theme on addressing challenges in meeting the needs of underserved communities, although selected long in advance of the current moment, appears strangely prescient of the moment we are in. As we watch the unfolding impact of the global pandemic, it has amplified existing disparities and has disproportionately impacted vulnerable communities. Deaths from COVID-19 are higher among Black, Brown and Indigenous people, both within and outside of the United States.
Trauma and Diversity: The Effects of Racism-Related Stress on Health Among Black Americans
In 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics identified racism as an insidious social determinant of health with chronic and sustained adverse health effects across the lifespan
(Trent, Dooley, & Dougé, 2019). There continues to be a growing call for health care systems, health care professionals and research scientists to acknowledge the role of racism in the lives of marginalized communities. This acknowledgment can aid in the development of holistic strategies to optimize care for these populations. In our current sociopolitical climate of unrest that is laden in the systemic perpetuation of injustice, the need to consider how systemic and interpersonal racism “gets under the skin” to affect health is vital.