The public health fandom was on full tilt during yesterday’s APHA Book Signing Party at the Public Health Expo.

David Satcher at book signing My Quest for Health EquityMaybe it’s the joy of seeing people in person after so many long months of distancing. Maybe it’s the exhilarating feeling of meeting the authors and editors of some of your favorite public health books. Eyes were literally twinkling above face masks as attendees met and had their books signed by the likes of former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, and Chandra Ford and Derek Griffith, co-editors of “Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional.”

“Tell me a little about what you do,” Linda Landesman, author of the “Landesman’s Public Health Management of Disasters, The Practice Guide, Fifth Edition” asked when expo-goer Emily Gordon brought her copy to the book-signing table for a signature. Landesman then proceeded to give Gordon advice on who to connect with to boost her public health work.

As the authors fielded signature requests and enjoyed the excitement in the air, Griffith and Ford told me they are looking to explore intervention strategies in their next book. In other words, “how do you actually do” anti-racism work, Griffith said.

“It can be paralyzing to introduce a conversation about racism,” he said. The popular APHA Press book aims to make those conversations happen across the public health field. “We wanted it to be something that was accessible to front-line workers and to start important conversations.”

woman at book signing with Chandra Ford and Derek GriffithAmong the heartening feedback he and Ford have received since the book was published: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies “have embraced making this something actionable and tangible that we can do something about.”

When Griffith and Ford set out on the book project in 2017, they felt pressed to be sure it was out before 2019, thinking there was a “small window of opportunity” when addressing racism was on the national radar screen. They’ve found that window has widened.

“Now, I think people are eager and hungry to do something,” he said.

If you’re with us in Denver, be sure to visit APHA Press at the Public Health Expo (Exhibit Hall A/F). Expo hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. tomorrow. All APHA Press titles, including those featured at the book signings, are available from the online APHA Bookstore.

Also, you can earn up to 15 continuing education credits by reading "Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional" and passing a post-test. Find out more from APHA Now.

Photos by Jim Ezell/EZ Event Photography