CHET states that racism is a public health threat that undermines health equity, and we aim to understand and combat centuries of oppression through transformational training and research. As we penned in a recent statement, although current events have revealed to some and reminded others of how systemic racism operates in the United States, the work of creating an anti-racist society is a marathon, not a sprint. Solutions require meaningful and tangible actions and strategies informed by voices, experiences, scholarship, activism, and leadership of those who experience racism and allies and accomplices committed to re-imagining a just society.

Essay Prompt

In an effort to implement programming focused on health equity and anti-racism, CHET invites students to reflect on the following quote and submit a thoughtful essay. Responses should focus on the intersection of health and justice and illustrate the importance of health equity – the fair and just opportunity for everyone to live their healthiest life possible.

CHET acknowledges that recounting past trauma based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, class, immigrant status, physical or mental ability, or other factors, can re-traumatize individuals and disproportionately impacts groups that have experienced systemic oppression. Although students may draw on personal experiences, they are not required. Only one submission per student will be accepted.

Selection Criteria

Essays will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of current injustices in health.

  • Thoughtful discussion of how to critically intervene to address current societal injustices.

  • Clear and creative voice.

  • Grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling.


  • Submissions are due by Friday February 19, 2021.

  • Submissions will only be accepted from current undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky

  • Letter of support from an individual who can speak to the student’s experience and/or involvement in social justice.

  • Submissions must be double-spaced in 12-point font and must not exceed 1,000 words

  • Applications will be accepted online, and materials (letter of support and essay) should be submitted as PDF files here

  • Winning essays will be shared on the CHET website.

Critically intervene in a way that challenges and changes.

bell hooks