Health disparities related to racism exist everywhere

 
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By serving people in their community, we build more resilient citizens.

Right To Health is about health prevention. It’s about bringing people together to share, care and alleviate the disparities that come with racial injustice and economic inequality. We are a wholly volunteer group with a vision: to create a national network of healthcare providers, researchers, scientists, healers, community leaders, technologists, educators and anyone else committed to alleviating the ills of racism across all ethnic groups, with particular attention to Black Americans.

 

Our Guiding Principles

  • To clear up perceptions about race and how racism impacts health disparities in the United States. Racism in America is alive and well as most of us know, but many Americans are afraid, intimidated or simply uninformed on how to address and overcome it.
     
  • To encourage dialogue and a shared understanding of the subtleties of racism. Subtle racism impacts people’s lives just as much as overt, racist behavior. On the contrary to what many Americans assume about a person’s access and affluence, racism undermines the health outcome for people of color regardless of their socio-economic status, for ALL ethnicities and identities.
     
  • To drive more research (and to secure its funding) related to racism and health outcome for Americans. Example: A police officer is waiting for you in front of your driveway. He/she is one of several that have been following you after work over the past few weeks. This is not the first time. You didn’t do anything. What are you feeling? The heat coming out of the body. Gripping teeth. Frustration.
     
  • To encourage the education in, and more study of, the roots of white privilege and “white fragility.” What is it like to be unable to hear that racism exists without going on the defensive?
     
  • To drive civic engagement so that we talk about all the above with respect for each other. Just like our American veterans who return to civilian life, this is not an easy party conversation. We are all human, and we all want to be happy, be free and prosper.
     

Let’s do this together.

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Leslie
Gregory

Leslie Gregory, Founder and Director

A certified Physician Assistant (PA-C), navy veteran, and mother of two, Leslie is a longtime  Portlander and social justice activist focused on healing those affected by everyday racism. She believes in the importance of taking a dynamic approach to teaching racial justice through health practices.

Leslie is an experienced antiracist facilitator and conflict facilitation mediator.  She writes and conducts research on the health impacts of racism for ALL Americans with a clinical and public health lens, accessing the humanistic and preventive approach. She encourages people to use empathy, introspection and intention around interpersonal and sociopolitical engagement.

You can listen to Leslie’s expertise here.

 

 

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Tina
Semko

Tina Semko, Volunteer

Tina’s dedication to bringing equitable health access to immigrants, refugees and communities of color is what makes her a vital contributor to Right To Health. Tina currently serves on the Portland Police’s Training Advisory Council (TAC), as a board member for Rosewood Initiative, and a the city of Portland’s East Portland Neighborhood Office (EPNO) Grants Committee.  She is active with the Multnomah Democrats and also serves as a Precinct Committee Person for House District 47. With a special interest in women’s health, Tina is pursuing a PhD in Community Health at Portland State University. When she’s not working, studying, parenting and being a champion of social justice across multiple organizations, Tina loves music, learning new languages, hiking, and running. 

 

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Kristy
LaFollette

Kristy LaFollette, Volunteer

Kristy leads fundraising and marketing for Right To Health. Growing up in Davis, CA, Kristy learned at an early age that equality in America is not shared; racism is a very subtle and deep-rooted problem, particularly for Black Americans. Her experience talking to many people over the years has led her to conclude that many people of “dominant culture” do want to help, but very few are aware of the deep, psychological trauma of what it’s like to be a person of color in America. Joining Right To Health as a volunteer consultant in March 2015, Kristy brings business strategy, operations, fundraising, editorial and marketing expertise to our organization. She’s been instrumental in building our client base and partner network in the Portland metro area and beyond. Aside from her day job as VP of Sales and Operations at Favorite Medium, Kristy serves on the Board of Directors for Portland’s Media Institute for Social Change. Previously she served on boards for San Francisco-based arts collective Southern Exposure and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Kristy also is a supporting member and volunteer of Ella Baker Center in Oakland, a social justice organization committed to breaking the cycle of disinvestment and incarceration in communities of color.