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Lowell Lecture

Linda Villarosa: Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation

Date & Time

Oct. 18, 2023 at 7 p.m.


Boston College - Gasson 100
140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
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Linda Villarosa

Presenting Organization

Boston College


Current Affairs


Avner Goldstein (, )

Journalist Linda Villarosa is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, where she covers race, inequality and public health. A former executive editor of Essence Magazine, she is the author of the book Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation.

Under the Skin is a landmark book that tells the full story of racial health disparities in America by revealing the toll racism takes on individuals and public health. In 2018, Villarosa’s New York Times Magazine article on maternal and infant mortality, “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis” caused an awakening. Hundreds of studies had previously established a link between racial discrimination and the health of Black Americans, with little progress toward solutions. But Villarosa’s article exposing that a Black woman with a college education is as likely to die or nearly die in childbirth as a white woman with an eighth-grade education made racial disparities in health care impossible to ignore.

A member of the Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA) Hall of Fame, Villarosa has been recognized with numerous awards from organizations including The American Medical Writers’ Association, the Arthur Ashe Institute, Lincoln University, the New York Association of Black Journalists, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

Villarosa is the editor of Body & Soul: The Black Women’s Guide to Physical Health and Emotional Well-Being. Her novel, Passing for Black, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. She is a graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where she is a professor and journalist in residence. She also teaches journalism, English, and Black Studies at the City College of New York.

Cosponsored by the Boston College Park Street Corporation Speaker Series.