County Health Rankings & Roadmaps is introducing a new way to engage in conversations around an idea fundamental to improving health and well-being for everyone: social solidarity. The conversations take place on a podcast launching this week called In Solidarity: Connecting Power, Place and Health.
In its debut episode, CHR&R hosts Beth Silver and Ericka Burroughs-Girardi introduce the concept of social solidarity and how our lives and fates are interconnected. The hosts reveal their own connection, which began before they were even born.
The podcast will launch a six-episode series on the racial wealth divide and how it impacts health. Silver and Burroughs-Girardi interview authors, activists and scientists to investigate the history of the racial wealth gap, its insidious and far-reaching implications for the health of Black Americans in particular, and the evidence-based solutions that could close the divide. All six episodes will be available April 13.
Burroughs-Girardi said she and Silver conceived of the podcast idea as a complement to CHR&R’s successful webinar series. They wanted to engage in a casual, yet critical dialogue, challenge assumptions and explore historical context on relevant health topics. The series will focus on working together to build community power and creating places where everyone thrives.
The theme of social solidarity ties together the idea that our collective decisions and the consequences of those decisions impact us all, according to Burroughs-Girardi. We are all intertwined, whether we live in Bellingham, Washington or Jacksonville, Florida. She said it is her goal to highlight those connections and offer a variety of perspectives on the podcast.
Podcast guest and author of The Privatization of Everything, Donald Cohen, said more attention needs to be paid to the benefits of public goods.
“The public is both ubiquitous and invisible at the same time. We need to lift up that there are public things all around us that that help us get through the day,” Cohen said on the podcast’s first episode.
In addition to Cohen, guests in the first miniseries include CHR&R Data and Analytics Team Lead Dr. Christine Muganda, Princeton University Sociology Professor and author Dr. Dalton Conley, Brookings Institution Fellow and author Dr. Andre Perry, CHR&R Evidence and Policy Analysis Team Lead Michael Stevenson, and Latresa McLawhorn Ryan, executive director of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative. The series covers the historical drivers of the racial wealth divide, why wealth matters for health, strategies for closing the divide, and how to harness the power of social solidarity.
In Solidarity: Connecting Power, Place and Health is the latest way CHR&R is building awareness of the multiple factors that influence health. CHR&R is committed to supporting community-led efforts to eliminate differences in opportunity that are unfair, systemic and avoidable.
The podcast’s launch aligns with CHR&R’s annual rankings release taking place on April 27. Our county-level rankings measure the health of nearly every county in the nation using more than 30 measures that make up our model of community health.