Day 11:

You may have heard about the wealth gap, but have you heard about the wealth-health gap?

According to the NY Times 1619 Project, “racial health disparities are as foundational as democracy itself.” Socioeconomic status and institutional racism lead to disparities across living conditions, limit access to quality health care, and contribute to chronic stress. These factors lead to shorter life spans and higher likelihood of adverse health outcomes for people living in poverty and people of color.

The ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) pyramid recognizes the influence of historical trauma and toxic stress on future generations and their health outcomes.

Source: Centers for Disease and Prevention

Healthcare costs also make up a significant portion of a household’s annual budget, placing additional stress on families that may or may not have insurance and access to quality care. Louisiana’s 2019 ALICE Report indicates that one of the most significant drivers of the increased Household Survival Budget is health care costs.

Compounding these factors that worsen health outcomes for people of color, Black Americans are much less likely to trust their healthcare providers and healthcare institutions. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is one of the most egregious demonstrations of the origins of distrust.

Did you know? 

  • Black women are two times more likely to endure a stillbirth than their white counterparts (Source: One Economy, 2020)
  • Adults of color, women, and low-income individuals report higher rates of childhood trauma compared to other racial and socio-economic groups (Source: Iowa ACEs 360, 2020) 
  • Only 1 in 3 Black Americans who needs mental health care receives it (Source: American Psychiatric Association, 2017) 

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following…


Watch What is Historical Trauma? by University of Minnesota Extension and read more about how it affects the well-being of generations. (5:52)


Click through the Louisiana Department of Health website to learn more about minority health indicators in our state.


Watch Sheba Turk’s interview with Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, the founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, the numbers are a reflection of the lack of access African Americans have to the healthcare system in Louisiana. (6:03)


The Business Case for Racial Equity, pages 20-23, published by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2018.


Capture what you learned by journaling your thoughts and feelings about today’s content. Click below to download a free journal page for today.

NEXT TOPIC: ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

CONVERSATION PIECE: Art Addressing Equity

Artist: Andre Davis

Title: “Too Sober to Live” from the album “When it Rains”

Date of piece: September, 2019

Description: “When it Rains” is the debut full length album from Andre Davis.

“Every song on this album has a profound message. It’s powerful and cuts to the core every time you hear it. The song “Too Sober to Live” ties to Healthcare.”

Thomas Kutz
Station 1 Records, Inc.


Thank you to the members of BRAVO Greater Des Moines for curating the Equity Challenge Gallery, a collection of art in various media that speaks to the issues of equity in our society.