ACU Convenes National Stakeholders with Grant Support from the CVS Health Foundation to Explore Anti-Racist Approaches to Youth Mental Health Care

The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU), with grant support from the CVS Health Foundation, is leading an initiative to address racism in mental health care for children and youth. ACU will lead a two-day convening in Washington, D.C., this week on October 27-28 with national stakeholders to discuss and develop an anti-racist approach to delivering mental health care to children and youth.

Black, Indigenous, Latine and other people of color exhibiting mental health care needs are less frequently offered appropriate mental health services and more frequently disciplined or diverted to correctional facilities when compared to their White peers. Those who do access mental health care services are more likely to receive lower quality care than their White counterparts due in part to provider underrepresentation and lack of cultural responsiveness.

To help address this situation, ACU will unite stakeholders and leaders from the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, and others at its D.C.-based headquarters to discuss anti-racist strategies for pediatric mental health care, as well as broader policy solutions to mental health inequities.

“We’re excited to bring together such diverse and leading voices in our field to help make anti-racism in pediatric mental health care a reality,” said Amanda Pears Kelly, Executive Director of ACU. “This work is integral to our mission to advance health equity, and it is our hope that these discussions and broader partnerships made possible by a grant from the CVS Health Foundation will help set the stage for systemic change.”

National stakeholders participating in the convening include:

The convening is part of ACU’s ongoing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) program, which works to help health centers, other safety-net providers, and the broader healthcare sector work toward integrating JEDI for staff and patients alike by providing educational resources and trainings. The initiative also assists organizations with assessments, strategic plans, staff training plans, and general technical assistance for JEDI efforts. To learn more or request a training please contact Sabrina Edgington, ACU’s Senior Director of JEDI, at

Additional Resources

You can learn more about incorporating JEDI concepts and principles at your health center in our Center of Excellence Brief for essential practices in JEDI, ACU’s “Building an Inclusive Organization” toolkit, and in our webinar series on building inclusive organizations. Also recommended is Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist. Please contact ACU’s Senior Director of JEDI Initiatives Sabrina Edgington with questions about JEDI or to learn how to get involved.

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Sabrina Edgington
Senior Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion