Watch Our Webinar: “An Epidemic of Inequality: (Un)Covering the Impact of Racism on Health”

As part of our Equity & Health Reporting Initiative, Renaissance Journalism hosted a webinar for journalists on April 2, 2021, entitled: “Epidemic of Inequality.” The thought-provoking discussion examined the devastating and disproportionate impact of racism and systemic inequities on the health and well-being of communities of color in the Bay Area and throughout the nation.

The webinar featured two leading physicians and researchers at UCSF, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo and Dr. Rupa Marya, in discussion about the intersections of health, racism and systemic inequities, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The doctors provided analysis and advice for journalists on how to explore and cover complex health and social justice issues, such as systemic racism, through the lens of equity. They also discussed recent developments in their research and community work that inspired new and innovative story ideas. 

The webinar was moderated by award-winning journalist Alexis Terrazas, editor-in-chief of El Tecolote, the longest-running Spanish/English bilingual newspaper in California.


Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Professor of Medicine. She is the inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity in the UCSF School of Medicine. Dr. Bibbins-Domingo co-founded the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. The center generates actionable research to increase health equity and reduce health disparities in at-risk populations in the San Francisco Bay Area, California and nationally. She leads the UCSF COVID Community Public Health Initiative.

Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is a general internist, cardiovascular disease epidemiologist and a national leader in prevention and interventions to address health disparities. She is an NIH-funded researcher who uses observational studies, pragmatic trials and simulation modeling to examine effective clinical, public health and policy interventions aimed at prevention. She leads the UCSF Cardiovascular Disease Policy Model group that conducts simulation modeling, disease projections and cost-effectiveness analyses related to cardiovascular disease in the US and in other national contexts.


Rupa Marya, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF and faculty director of the Do No Harm Coalition, an organization of over 450 health workers committed to structural change to address health problems. At the invitation of Ohlone native community, she served in medical response at the Standing Rock prayer camp, as indigenous people were encountering increasing police violence while protecting their right to clean drinking water. She was invited by Lakota health leaders and elders to help set up a permanent community clinic for the practice of decolonized medicine at Standing Rock—the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic and Farm. Dr. Marya addresses health issues at the nexus of racism and state violence through her medical work and international outreach with her band, Rupa and the April Fishes.

At the request of family and community impacted by the police shooting of Mario Woods, she has conducted national research with Dr. Sonja Mackenzie and Liz Kroboth, MPH, investigating the health effects of police violence on communities that receive no justice called The Justice Study. She is currently researching the impact of urban regenerative agriculture on the health of historically oppressed people, examining the connection between soil health, human health and inflammation. With political economist Raj Patel, Dr. Marya is the co-author of “Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice,” to be published in 2021 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.



Alexis Terrazas has served as the editor-in-chief of El Tecolote, the longest-running Spanish/English bilingual newspaper in California, since 2014. A San Francisco native with extensive experience both as a journalist and as an editor, Terrazas was awarded a Peninsula Press Club Herb Caen grant in 2006 and studied journalism at San Francisco State University (SFSU). While at SFSU he served on the Golden Gate Xpress as Sports Editor, won various journalism awards, and wrote articles for El Tecolote. Since joining El Tecolote, the publication has won various awards from the SF Press Club and was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Northern California chapter with the Silver Heart Award in 2018. Terrazas is passionate about community media and amplifying the voices of communities that have historically been silenced.



This webinar, part of Renaissance Journalism’s Equity & Health Reporting Initiative, is made possible with support from The California Endowment.