Project REFOCUS: Racial Ethnic Framing of Community-Informed and Unifying Surveillance
Project REFOCUS provides a real-time crisis monitoring system and educational resources for public health practitioners. These tools are necessary to adequately monitor the presence of social stigma and support historically marginalized and disproportionately affected populations during public health crises.
Racism is a public health crisis – but what does that mean for practice?
- Racism—both interpersonal and structural—negatively affects the mental and physical health of millions of people, preventing them from attaining their highest level of health, and consequently, affecting the health of our nation (CDC, 2021).
- In order to detect the impacts of racism on a given population, practitioners need tools to monitor, detect, and interpret related data. This is essential to the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health practice (WHO, 2021).
- Project REFOCUS is a promising solution that contributes in two ways:
- Technology: Project REFOCUS offers a crisis monitoring system for public health practitioners. This system provides the comprehensive data needed to monitor social stigma and support disproportionately affected populations during crises.
- Education: Project REFOCUS provides tools and resources so that public health practitioners, journalists and community leaders better understand the drivers of social stigma.