More than two-dozen people waited in line to meet the editors of “Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional,” a new book from APHA Press featured at yesterday’s book signing party in Philadelphia.

Written to raise awareness about racism, the book is designed to help practitioners “not only spot (racism) when it happens, but to give them tools and resources to be an advocate to stop racism,” said Marino Bruce, one of the book’s four co-editors.

“I think it’s important for 2019,” he said. “I won’t say racism is on the rise, but it’s becoming more overt. It’s more upfront. Given that we’re hearing about racism more, folks need to be equipped to deal with it.”

woman taking selfie with racism book authorsAPHA Annual Meeting attendee Kellee White, a public health professor at the University of Maryland, made sure to get a selfie with the editors. White conducts research on institutional discrimination and its impact on health. She’s considering developing a class around the book.

“If we want to address health equities, we need to tackle structural determinants such as racism,” White said.

Rosemarie Hemmings, a dentistry professor at Oregon Health and Science University, also said the book is one she can use with her students. She teaches a class on the social determinants of health, which also addresses health inequities, social justice and the impact of racism on oral health.

“I’m just happy to see a book written like this that’s written by people of color,” she said.

Nearby, attendee Tooka Zokaie was getting her copy of “Oral Health in America: Removing the Stain of Disparity” signed by the book’s two co-editors, Henrie Treadwell and Caswell Evans. Zokaie works in the public health arm of the American Dental Association and said the book will be helpful as her organization works to address disparities in oral health.

“There are large cohorts of populations that don’t have proper access to oral health services, and therefore they have these oral health inequities,” Evans said. “There’s not enough understanding of that in the overall medical community and, in some regards, even in the dental health community.”

Editor Gregory Heath signed copies of his book, “Physical Activity and Public Health: A Practitioner’s Handbook.” The book focuses on the practice of physical activity in public health and with public health partners.

“We wanted to provide substantive information that would give people a foundation,” Heath said. “It’s not a textbook — it’s intended to be a tool and a handbook that would be useful in facilitating the promotion of physical activity in communities and give people from these various sectors a place to start.”

Forming community partnerships is critical to that success, Heath said.

“We successfully engineered physical activity out of our lives in the latter part of the 20th century,” he said. “The question is ‘can we engineer it back in?’ And the only way that we can do that is by intersectoral collaboration and multiple levels.”

To pick up your own copy of any of the books featured at yesterday’s book signing party, visit APHA Press at the Public Health Expo or visit APHA Press online.

Annual Meeting attendee Kellee White snaps a selfie with editors of the APHA Press book "Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional." (Photo by Melanie Padgett Powers)