Despite advances in the fight for equality, it’s a fact that racism and prejudice still exist in America. Institutional racism continues to limit access to quality housing and employment opportunities. Cultural racism and bigotry lead to negative stereotypes and discrimination of all kinds. Every day, people face deeply ingrained prejudice that impacts every aspect of their lives.
This impact extends to health and well-being. Racism causes trauma and stress that profoundly affect the health of people of color to such an extent that the CDC recently declared racism a serious public health threat. Not surprisingly, experiencing racism affects mental health, causing depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal thoughts. It also negatively impacts physical health. Racist experiences appear to increase inflammation in Black people, raising their risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and kidney disease, according to a 2019 study published in the journal, Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Not only does the stress of racism cause health problems, but once people from historically marginalized communities seek medical attention, they are faced with discrimination within our healthcare system, if they can access it at all. A 2012 study in Health Services Research found that predominantly Black zip codes were 67% more likely to have a shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs). In 2016, Congress set the Indian Health Service budget at $4.8 billion. Spread across the US population of 3.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives, that's $1,297 per person. That compares to $6,973 per inmate in the federal prison system. For Black and Latina women, negative experiences with the healthcare system may prevent them from seeking medical attention when needed. And In New York City, Black women have the highest maternal mortality rate at 51 deaths per 100,000 live births, which is nearly three times that of Latina and Asian women and eight times that of white women.
This is simply unacceptable.
At One Drop, we take a stand against racism and prejudice not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because trauma that affects one of us, affects all of us. Nearly four in 10 Americans identify as a race other than white. It’s on all of us to make sure that 40% of our country has the same opportunities and access to healthcare, and that all of us can reach our full potential.
We believe that Black lives matter, that we must stop AAPI hate, and that we must condemn acts of prejudice and violence against all historically marginalized communities. To our members of color: we see you, we hear you, and we support you. We promise to join you in the fight until all people are free from the trauma of racism and prejudice.
How We’re Building an Anti-Racist Organization
We recognize that being anti-racist is a conscious, ongoing process.
There is no such thing as a minor act of racism. We know that implicit bias is real. We challenge ourselves to question assumptions, practice empathy, and check our privilege. Creating anti-racist health products and fostering anti-racism at an organizational level requires deliberate, continuous action that goes beyond just making public statements.
We make precision health affordable and accessible to all.
People who struggle with access to healthcare stemming from long-standing racism and prejudice have an accessible resource in One Drop. We believe that every human should be able to access their own health data and understand how to act on it in order to lead a happier, healthier life. Our forthcoming continuous health sensing platform will cost a fraction of what a typical continuous glucose monitor costs. And our on-demand health coaching provides people with trauma-informed support that can help them take their health into their own hands.
We develop products with a culturally competent lens.
Cultural competence in healthcare means delivering services that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of the people being served. One Drop personal health coaches undergo ongoing training to increase cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, so that anyone who accesses our platform can be matched with someone who understands their unique perspective and background. From the language in our app to the broader strategy behind our product development, we strive to create a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive experience.
We prioritize cultural and ethnic diversity on our teams.
Our internal culture reflects the change we want to see in the world. In order to better serve people of color and minority groups, we intentionally recruit team members from a range of ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds. Our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program celebrates employees from historically marginalized communities and provides safe spaces where they can communicate about issues they face.
We support organizations and legislation that fight for racial justice.
We proudly contribute financially to organizations that are advancing critical anti-racism work such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. We also support legislation such as the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021. By publicly taking a stand against racism and prejudice, we hope to encourage other individuals and organizations to join us. We’re all in this together.