Ethics Grand Rounds Feb. 24, 2023 | 12 - 1 P.M. CST Zoom | Free | Open to the Public

Black Reproductive Health: Getting at the Root Cause of Inequity

Zoom | Free | Open to the public
Headshot of Rachel Hardeman
Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH​​​​


Structural racism disadvantages Black birthing people before, during, and after pregnancy, leading to heartbreaking health inequities for them and their babies. Relationship-centered and culturally-centered care models provide needed support to Black birthing people, making strides on the path towards racial birth equity.

Learning objectives: By the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe how structural racism affects reproductive health outcomes;
  2. Apply antiracist professional practices to the field of health; and
  3. Evaluate and incorporate values of equity and inclusion in patient interactions.

This is an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA), hosted by the Center for Bioethics, and co-sponsored by the following U of MN units: the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, School of Public Health; Center for Race, indigeneity, Disability, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts; Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy, HHH School of Public Affairs; Center for Women’s Health Research, Medical School; Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts; Medical School, Program in Health Disparities Research, Medical School; School of Nursing, and School of Public Health.

This was a special Ethics Grand Rounds honoring Betsey, Lucy, Anarcha, and all of the other unnamed enslaved Black women who were subjected to abusive experimentation in order to advance the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists designated February 28 and March 1 the Betsey, Lucy, and Anarcha Days of Recognition. Promoting health equity requires acknowledging this history as well as recognizing the continuing impact of racism on reproductive health and health care. 


Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH, is a tenured Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy & Management at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, the Blue Cross Endowed Professor in Health and Racial Equity, and the Founding Director of the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity. A reproductive health equity researcher, she applies the tools of population health science and health services research to elucidate a critical and complex determinant of health inequity—racism. Dr. Hardeman leverages the frameworks of critical race theory and reproductive justice to inform her equity-centered work which aims to build the empirical evidence of racism’s impact on health particularly for Black birthing people and their babies. Dr. Hardeman’s research includes a partnership with Roots Community Birth Center, in North Minneapolis, one of five Black-owned freestanding birth centers in the United States. Her work also examines the potential mental health impacts for Black birthing people when living in a community that has experienced the killing of an unarmed Black person by police. Published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health, Dr. Hardeman’s research has elicited important conversations on the topics of culturally-centered care, police brutality and structural racism as a fundamental cause of health inequities. Her overarching goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge that links structural racism to health in a tangible way, identifies opportunities for intervention, and dismantles the systems, structures, and institutions that allow inequities to persist. 

Dr. Hardeman is the recipient of several awards for her work as an early career investigator including the Dr. Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award from the University of Minnesota (2019) the 2020 recipient of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASSPH) Early Career Public Health Research Award. She was recently named a McKnight Presidential Fellow awarded for her excellence in research and scholarship, leadership and recently received the AcademyHealth Alice S. Hersh Emerging Leader Award for the impact her research has had on health policy. She is also active locally and nationally with organizations that seek to achieve health equity such as the Minnesota Maternal Mortality Review Committee and the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood of the North Central States. 

Dr. Hardeman earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry and Spanish from Xavier University of Louisiana, an MPH in Public Health Administration and Policy and a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.