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Developing an Anti-Racist Foundations Course in MCH for MPH Students.



Over the past decade, foundational courses in MCH have been revised and revamped to integrate the life course perspective and social determinants of health in ways that bring these essential issues to the core of the learning experience. Yet the racial reckoning of 2020 and the racially disparate health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic underscore that a deeper, more focused approach to anti-racist pedagogy is now imperative for MCH educators and others responsible for developing the MCH workforce.


In this paper, we discuss our experience of building a 'community of practice' of anti-racist MCH trainees through our course, 'Foundations of Maternal and Child Health Policy, Practice, and Science.'


We identify four principles which guided our course: (1) building on students' experience, knowledge, identities and social justice commitments; (2) creating a common purpose and shared vocabulary related to racism; (3) organizing classroom activities to reflect real-world problems and professional practices related to addressing structural racism as a root cause of health inequities; and (4) building students' skills and confidence to recognize and address structural racism as MCH professionals.


We hope that this description of our principles, along with examples of how they were put into practice, will be useful to MCH educators who seek to build anti-racist frameworks to guide MCH workforce development.

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