Kaiser Permanente on Addressing Systemic Racism and Trauma in Southern California

Originally published at about.kaiserpermanente.org. Kaiser Permanente is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame Company.


Kaiser Permanente has issued 3 local community-based organizations $325,000 in grants to help end the generational cycles of trauma caused by structural racism and injustice experienced by Black Americans and other communities of color.

The money will address and combat trauma that often manifests in situations and actions that hurt children by causing adverse childhood experiences, known as ACEs, which have negative lifelong consequences for health, as well as one’s physical and emotional well-being.

This is part of Kaiser Permanente’s national commitment of $25 million in grant funding to support racial equity and economic opportunities that will help aid pandemic recovery for the hardest-hit communities, including Black, African American, Latino and underserved communities. More than $8 million has already been awarded to support programs that address systemic racism or its accompanying trauma on individuals and communities of color.

The 3 Los Angeles area nonprofits awarded money are El Centro del Pueblo of Los Angeles, which received $125,000; Positive Results Center of Gardena, which received $100,000; and Therapeutic Play Foundation of Pasadena, which received $100,000.

“On a daily basis, many children continue to suffer from violence and trauma that often leave long-lasting scars,” said Angela Coron, executive director of community health with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. “We are taking important steps to promote healing to end the cycle of violence, injustice, and trauma so that we can help create a healthier and more equitable future for our children and our communities.”

Learn more about this work

Traumatic childhood events are associated with a reduced life expectancy and lifelong health issues including depression, cancer, maternal pregnancy loss, and relationship struggles, as well as higher rates of chronic illness including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and substance abuse.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that at least 38% of children have had at least one adverse childhood experience before the age of 18, impacting children and families across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. However, Black and Latino children experience more ACEs than average, with Black children experiencing 11% more ACEs than white children at all income levels.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate burden on communities of color — including children — may be fueling a future ACEs crisis: Researchers estimate 40,000 children in the United States have lost a parent to COVID-19, and Black children have experienced about 20% of the losses while making up only 14% of the population.

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