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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structural Racism and Its Effects on Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States: Issues of Health Equity, Census Undercounting, and Voter Disenfranchisement

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

In the current historical moment, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) in the United States experience high levels of COVID-19 infection and death, risk losing billions in federal funding due to census undercounting, and have less political power due to systemic voter disenfranchisement. We believe these challenges result in large part from structural racism—the inequitable systems that reinforce racial discrimination in society—that unjustly disadvantages NHPIs and other people of color. In this paper, we describe how structural racism is manifesting in health and social inequities for NHPIs in the United States. Lastly, we provide recommendations for achieving justice and equity for NHPI communities.

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