Illustration of racially diverse group of people


Join public health professionals from across the state for an interactive webinar introducing the topic of racial inequities and what causes them, led by the Racial Equity Institute (REI).

In this lively and participatory presentation, REI organizers will use stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequity, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that most find immediately helpful and relevant.

The Groundwater metaphor is designed to help practitioners at all levels internalize the reality that we live in a racially structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity. The metaphor is based on three observations:

  • Racial inequity looks the same across systems;
  • Socio-economic difference does not explain the racial inequity; and
  • Inequities are caused by systems, regardless of people’s culture or behavior.

Embracing these truths helps leaders confront the reality that all our systems, institutions, and outcomes emanate from the racial hierarchy on which the United States was built. In other words, we have a “groundwater” problem, and we need “groundwater” solutions. Starting from there, we begin to unlock transformative change.

Date and Registration

The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, December 7 (9 a.m.-noon). Register.

This session is open to the first 100 people who register. All participants who register are expected to attend. If a participant needs to cancel for any reason, they should contact Cherelle Whitfield to confirm their cancellation.

Who Should Attend

This session is open to all health department staff in North Carolina and N.C. Division of Public Health staff. 


For more information about the sessions, contact Cherelle Whitfield.

Cosponsors and Participant Fee

These sessions are supported through a contract to the North Carolina Institute for Public Health from the North Carolina Division of Public Health as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Public Health Workforce Development Initiative investment in North Carolina’s public health workforce. Participants will not be charged a registration fee.

Logo for the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Logo for the Racial Equity Institute  Logo for the NC Institute for Public Health


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135 Dauer Drive
221 Rosenau Hall, CB #8165
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8165
(919) 966-3309