With COVID-19 exacerbating America’s racial health disparities, Black Americans must be included in public health conversations and clinical research.
In 2020, we partnered with Ochsner Health in Louisiana to recruit participants in a clinical health trial for the COVID-19 vaccine. Systemic marginalization and bias has historically led to underrepresentation of minority communities in clinical trials, thus creating biased data.
Data that pays close attention to some communities’ needs, while ignoring others, causes significant damage by feeding a cycle of bias in research and medicine. These biases in data directly contribute to social determinants of health and skew public policy, philanthropy, and economic development decisions in ways that are especially harmful to communities of color but also undermine a culture of health for all.
Leveraging our novel Values Data Recruitment methods, Public Democracy completed the first population research study to successfully enroll a fully representative sample of Black Americans and other marginalized communities, which was written up in The Lancet. We used data and our empathy-based engagement tools to directly confront biases that create barriers to minority participation.