Meet the Man Who Proved That Discrimination Can Make You Physically Sick

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Dr. David Williams pioneered three ways to prove the links between discrimination and poor health.

An ever-growing body of research in the fields of public health, sociology and medicine is presenting a strong case for something you may personally know to be to true: Experiencing discrimination is bad for your health.

Dr. David Williams, a sociologist, public health researcher and African-American studies professor, is a leader in this field. He has spent decades creating tools that allow for the scientific measurement of discrimination and its impacts on health.

Williams started his career as a health educator at a Michigan hospital, and he says his work there led him to explore the links between individual behavioral changes and the limitations of a person’s social environment. From there he pursued a Ph.D. in sociology. Williams is currently a professor of public health, sociology and African-American history at Harvard University.

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