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Stylistic Writing Strategies that Further Racial Equity
Grant Funding Statement
Funding for the Striving for Excellence Series was made possible by Grant No. H79FG000591 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by SAMHSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.


Academic medicine is increasing efforts to unequivocally identify systemic racism as a public health crisis because it drives health inequity to racially minoritized groups. A health equity emphasis in clinical education, practice, and research differs from a disparities approach because it seeks to dismantle the systems of racism that create inequitable health outcomes in the first place. Yet, as this course will demonstrate, the language and construction of health disparities literature may perpetuate colorblind and aversive racism by stylistically omitting naming medical racism as the driver of health inequity, thereby reducing our field’s potential to end that racialized inequity. Based on the principles of Rudolph Virchow and standard academic publishing principles, participants in this course will learn to identify and classify common writing styles of health disparities research in order to learn a writing style of racial health equity that better supports true progress towards equity.


Asynchronous, interactive module

Learning Objectives 

  • Describe the basic principles of colorblind and aversive racism as it relates to using the active voice of sentence construction
  • Identify common examples of health disparities academic writing that use the passive voice or fail to name the agent of action
  • Rewrite passive disparities literature into an active voice that names racism as the driver of inequity

Target Audience 

Medical students, residents/fellows, psychiatrists, non-psychiatrist physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, peer specialists, and pharmacists


  1. Black C, Pondugula N, Spearman-McCarthy EV. Words Matter: Stylistic Writing Strategies for Racial Health Equity in Academic Medicine, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 2022;9:2071-2076.
  2. Black C. Towards a Language of Racial Health Equity in Academic Medical Literature. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2022; 30(11):1180-1182.
  3. Black C, Cerdeña JP, Spearman-McCarthy EV. I Am Not Your Minority. The Lancet Regional Health Americas 2023; 19:100464.

Instructional Level 


Estimate Time to Complete 

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour 
Program Start Date: April 15, 2024
Program End Date: April 15, 2027

How to Earn Credit 

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or a certificate of participation may do so by viewing the live presentation and completing the evaluation. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (other disciplines) showing the event date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit 

In support of improving patient care, the American Psychiatric Association is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.  


The APA designates this live event for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

Faculty and Planner Disclosures 

The American Psychiatric Association adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CME activity — including faculty, planners, reviewers or others — are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity. 


  • Carmen Black, MD, Assistant professor, Yale University. Dr. Black reports no relevant financial relationships.


  • Carmen Black, MD, Assistant professor, Yale University. Dr. Black reports no relevant financial relationships.

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities 

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. Please contact the American Psychiatric Association at 202-559-3900, if you require assistance seven (7) business days prior to the start of a live webinar. 

Technical Requirements 

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following: 

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari 
  • Internet Explorer 11+ 

This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player. 

Optimal System Configuration: 

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version) 
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version) 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher 

Minimum Requirements: 

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content 
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content 

For assistance: Contact for questions about this activity | Contact for technical assistance 

Availability: On-Demand
Expires on 04/15/2027
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
1 CME Credit
1 COP Credit
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