Aims Racism can exert negative effects on the self-concepts, health, well-being and life trajectories of both non-dominant racial–ethnic (NDRE) youth and youth-serving providers. In the face of growing nationalism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia and overt expressions of racism, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) recognized the critically important need to address the issue of racism and its impact on both NDRE youth and youth-serving providers. SAHM decided to create a guide for organizations involved in clinical care delivery and health professions training and education to promote safe and affirming environments with the goal to create inclusivity during this difficult time.
Methods In developing this position paper, the authors relied on a review of the literature and expert consensus.
Results The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine endorses the following positions:
Organizations, providers, researchers, and policymakers should recognize that racism negatively affects the self–concept, health and well–being, and life trajectories of both NDRE youth and youth–serving providers.
Organizations should consider and address racism as a form of structural violence.
Organizations should reaffirm their commitment to justice and equity and actively develop, implement, and evaluate policies and processes to ensure that racism is not embedded systematically.
Youth–serving organizations should explicitly convey their views against racism and create safe, welcoming spaces for all.
Organizations should develop, implement, and evaluate interventions at all levels addressing chronic minority stress and vicarious trauma affecting NDRE providers.
Organizations should develop, implement, and evaluate interventions at all levels addressing chronic minority stress and vicarious trauma affecting NDRE trainees and students.
Organizations should develop, implement, and evaluate training for providers to routinely explore and address racism with all youth and effectively intervene when they identify affected youth.
Providers caring for youth should integrate promising interventions to address racism as a part of routine evaluation and in response to identified aggression.
Conclusions In this position paper, SAHM affirms its commitment to foundational moral and ethical principles of justice, equity, and respect for humanity; acknowledges racism in its myriad forms; defines strategies to best promote resiliency and support the health and well-being of NDRE youth, providers, trainees, and students; and provides recommendations on the ways to best effect systemic change.
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