Educator, writer to address effects of racism on health


Linda Villarosa is an educator and writer for The New York Times Magazine where she examines racial health disparities in America and the toll racism takes on individuals and the health of our nation.

She will speak at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy’s Annenberg Auditorium during “Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation.”

Linda Villarosa
Linda Villarosa

The lecture, presented by the Wallace House as part of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, will be free and open to the public.

Her 2018 cover story, “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. She was inducted into the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists’ hall of fame after receiving its award for her article “America’s Hidden HIV Epidemic.”

Villarosa’s essay on medical myths was included in The New York Times’ 1619 Project in 2019 and was published in “The 1619 Project” book in 2021. She has also covered the toll COVID-19 has had on Black communities in America, the environmental justice movement in Philadelphia, life expectancy in Chicago, and eugenics.

She has worked as an editor for the health pages of The New York Times, and covered health for the Science Times. She worked as the executive editor of Essence Magazine, where she wrote and edited a number of award-winning articles.

Villarosa currently is a professor and journalist in residence at her alma mater, the City University of New York’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she received her master’s degree in urban journalism/digital storytelling in 2013. She also teaches journalism, medicine and Black studies at The City College of New York in Harlem.

She has trained journalists around the world to better cover the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and she has served as a nonfiction mentor for the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Emerging Writers Retreat.

Villarosa has received many awards from institutions including the American Medical Writers’ Association, the Arthur Ashe Institute, Lincoln University, the New York Association of Black Journalists, the National Women’s Political Caucus, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists’ Association, and the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

In June 2022, she published her book “Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation,” which was named as one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and National Public Radio.


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