PHS Values Statement 

Winston-Salem is one of the most diverse cities in the United States1, a multiracial democracy2. We aim to honor and reflect this in the Division of Public Health Sciences (PHS). Diversity is a part of who we are.

Racism is a public health crisis3. Race-based violence4; disproportionate application of police force5; limiting access to loans6, housing7, and education8,9 based on race/ethnicity; building highways through minority neighborhoods10; and gerrymandering11 and voter suppression12 are among the events in local and national history which carry through to the present day. 

Black Americans are much more likely than others in our society to die while being arrested or in police custody13. We acknowledge that for many in the Black community, these incidents are continuing reminders of a long history which includes slavery14, de jure15 (legally sanctioned) and de facto16 segregation, and institutionalized racism17.

Of immediate relevance to our profession, there exists a history of racism in research18and health care19, again disproportionately affecting Black Americans. The impacts of this history continue to be felt by many20 in the present day, even here at Wake Forest. We acknowledge these realities and aim to do our part to counter them within Winston-Salem, our academic department, and scientific community.

We commit to recognizing, uplifting, and supporting all marginalized people – including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, Pacific Islander, all other ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, people facing housing insecurity, previously and currently incarcerated people, people negatively impacted by the criminal justice system – in our work at PHS and in the wider research community. 

We will embrace our strengths and aspire to better connect with all individuals regardless of our differences whether they be age, sex, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religious beliefs, military background, or political affiliation.


  1. Most Diverse Cities in America. Men’s Health. 2020;(September).
  2. Serwer A. The Capitol Riot Was an Attack on Multiracial Democracy. The Atlantic. Published January 7, 2021. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  3. Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Issue. Accessed October 14, 2020.
  4. Mass racial violence in the United States. In: Wikipedia. ; 2021. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  5. Fryer RG, Jr. An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force. National Bureau of Economic Research; 2016. doi:10.3386/w22399
  6. Olick D. A troubling tale of a Black man trying to refinance his mortgage. CNBC. Published August 19, 2020. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  7. Mapping Inequality. Accessed September 18, 2020.
  8. Chang A. The data proves that school segregation is getting worse. Vox. Published March 5, 2018. Accessed January 14, 2021.
  9. Introducing: Nice White Parents. The New York Times. Published July 23, 2020. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  10. MUSE Winston-Salem. Foodways and Roadways: Finding Our Way Home.; 2016. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  11. Wines M. What Is Gerrymandering? And How Does it Work? (Published 2019). The New York Times. Published June 27, 2019. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  12. Newkirk II VR. Voter Suppression Is Warping Democracy. The Atlantic. Published July 17, 2018. Accessed January 14, 2021.
  13. Edwards F, Lee H, Esposito M. Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex. PNAS. 2019;116(34):16793-16798. doi:10.1073/pnas.1821204116
  14. The 1619 Project (Published 2019). The New York Times., Published August 14, 2019. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  15. Rothstein R. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. Illustrated Edition. Liveright; 2017.
  16. De Facto vs De Jure Segregation - Difference. Accessed January 10, 2021.
  17. Wilkerson I. Caste (Oprah’s Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents. Random House; 2020.
  18. Race, Ancestry, and Medical Research | Research, Methods, Statistics | JAMA | JAMA Network. Accessed September 4, 2020.
  19. Vyas DA, Eisenstein LG, Jones DS. Hidden in Plain Sight — Reconsidering the Use of Race Correction in Clinical Algorithms. Malina D, ed. N Engl J Med. 2020;383(9):874-882. doi:10.1056/NEJMms2004740
  20. Issaka RB. Good for Us All. JAMA. 2020;324(6):556-557. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12630