Investment: In 2021, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) donated $5 million to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (SPH) to establish the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity: a transformational gift envisioning a more just and equitable future for all. This gift—the largest gift to a center at SPH—was provided by Blue Cross as a part of a long-term commitment to tackle the leading causes of preventable disease, increase racial and health equity, transform communities, and create a healthier state.
Visionary leadership: Rachel Hardeman, associate professor and Blue Cross Endowed Professor of Health and Racial Equity, created the vision for the center and serves as its founding director. With support from Blue Cross and through Hardeman’s leadership and expertise, the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity will develop education and training on structural racism and health inequities; foster authentic community engagement to address the root causes of racial health inequities and drive action; change the narrative about race and racism to one that does not hold up whiteness as the ideal standard for human beings; and serve as a trusted resource on issues related to racism and health equity.
Partners welcome: Blue Cross’ commitment to bring about change serves as an invitation for others to provide sustainable funding for the center and its goal of understanding and dismantling structural racism and its negative impact on health.