Racism and Child Health

We must acknowledge that systemic racism is a root cause of child health inequities.

Systemic racism does not belong to one political party. No matter who holds the power of our nation’s highest office, we know what ideology holds the power in our nation’s systems: white supremacy.

Racism impacts every stage of child development, beginning in the womb, and continues to shape the conditions in which children live, learn, develop, and play.

During this critical time of reckoning, The Children’s Partnership is proud to share a series of briefs, uplifting the pervasive impacts of institutional racism on the health and wellbeing of our children. Our goal is to bring to light some of the ways that institutions, from policing to medicine to technology, each perpetuate grave harm to the healthy development of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) children, and therefore all children, in this country.

Through the series and our work with partners, The Children’s Partnership will explore opportunities to disrupt oppressive systems, defer to community leadership and demand bold innovations that put the wellbeing of our children first. By placing a child lens on issues of police violence, we hope to contribute to the incredible work led by BIPOC organizers and racial justice advocates for years.


Our first brief in the series, Policing and the Harmful Impacts on Child Wellbeing, offers a look at how the systemic racism that permeates U.S. law enforcement harms the health of BIPOC children. Whether direct or indirect, exposure to police violence triggers a stress response in children that leads to lasting adverse consequences from mental health and development to financial and academic success.

TCP aims to be a voice for marginalized communities and advocate for equity in health for all children. This brief highlights how systemic racism in policing leads to inequities in health for BIPOC children and offers opportunities to address the harms and prevent future negative impacts.

Special Webinar: How Policing Harms Kids
Wednesday, December 16, 2 pm PST

View recording here.

Join expert panelists for a conversation on the consequences of policing on children and what our institutions can do better. 

Featured guests include:
Dr. Rhea Boyd, Pediatrician, Public Health Advocate and Scholar
Marc Philpart, Managing Director, PolicyLink
Amir Whitaker, Policy Counsel, ACLU Foundation of Southern California