Fighting racism has been on the public health agenda for a long time. This Saturday's half-day summit on racism as a public health crisis takes a closer look how we all can make a difference.

Woman speaking in front of crowd of protesters with signs like FIGHT POVERTY NOT THE POOR"This is an opportunity to have conversations in real time and look for real solutions," said APHA's Susan Polan, PhD, associate executive director for public affairs and advocacy. "We really wanted to bring the community in."

The four-hour event — "Racism is a Public Health Crisis: Reimagining and Redefining Public Safety in a Structure of State Sanctioned, Anti-Black Violence" — starts at 10 a.m. MT on Oct. 24. Speakers include representatives from California-based organizations that have been able to make inroads into transforming the health of local communities. Those include the California Urban Partnership, the Anti-Police Terror Project, Youth Forward, Sacramento Building Healthy Communities and the Men's Leadership Academy.

"This meeting will really highlight the areas and issues of concern and illustrate all the amazing work happening in Sacramento and Eastern San Francisco," Polan said. "The implications of this work are relevant nationwide."

The summit, hosted by the California Endowment, fits in well with this year's APHA Annual Meeting and Expo theme of "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence."

As explained by the event organizers:

"Unaddressed public policy, institutional and systemic oppression, and anti-Black racism, including physical violence against Black people, continues to preserve our government's original intent. Challenging how we see 'violence' and understanding who the beneficiaries are of government 'safety protocols' is the critical, anti-racist work of health equity. Grassroots movements and innovative projects with equity frameworks redirect our focus toward root causes of disparities, disempowerment and disease while practicing communities of belonging. These — sometimes seen as unconventional, imposing and disruptive — methods are actually the dismantling of unhealthy communities while laying the foundation for health transformation.

"Attend the summit to learn more about this important work and how Sacramento-based organizations are sparking change."

Register here, and learn more about the day's agenda and all the speakers at www.summits2020.com/

Photo courtesy Alberto Mercado of Sacramento Building Healthy Communities: Faye Kennedy speaks during a "Let Them Hear Us" community action event in Sacramento focused on defunding police and reinvesting in the community.