Cultural Responsiveness
Four young black men talk outside a building

Identity is Key

Recognizing and honoring the unique identities of young people can make a difference in adolescents feeling affirmed and respected in their health care experiences.

It is essential for health care professionals to be aware of – and work to change – systemic and institutional biases that get in the way of equitable care for youth.

Racial Justice Resources

Systemic racism and its consequences are a public health crisis. Listed below, you’ll find resources that support efforts to address and dismantle these systems. We plan to update this section often. If you or your team has suggestions or additional racial justice resources to share, please reach out to [email protected].

  • SAHM Anti-Racism Toolkit
    The Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine’s (SAHM) Diversity Committee has created this toolkit to provide access to resources to help adolescent health professionals combat racism, promote racial justice, reduce health disparities and advance health equity for youth.
  • Tips to Help Teen Patients Deal with Discrimination
    Identity development is one of those crucial tasks of positive youth development, and teens belonging to minority communities have an additional task that is quite complex: figuring out what ethnic group they belong to or identify with and doing this in the context of a family that most likely is at a different point in the process.
  • Diversifying the Workforce through Policy and Practice
    This issue brief is part of an ongoing series for the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to identify health care employer needs, challenges, and best practices for increasing diversity in the healthcare workforce.
  • Urban Indian Dictionary
    Learn definitions of words related to urban Indian health with this PDF dictionary curated by the Urban Indian Health Institute.
  • Addressing Implicit Bias to Better Serve Youth
    Healthcare Education & Training’s (HCET) presentation on Addressing Implicit Bias to Better Serve Youth.
  • Implicit Bias Training Guide
    The EveryONE Project from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Implicit Bias Training Guide promotes awareness of implicit bias among primary care physicians and their practice teams and provides resources for instructing health care professionals on how to reduce its negative effects on patients.
  • Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism
    This video from the New York Times explores the concept of implicit bias in an easily understandable way
  • Equity and Liberation Resources
    Equity and liberation resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and White Allies compiled by Youth Collaboratory.
Spark Trainings
Trainings for your multidisciplinary team

AHI offers two Spark trainings on cultural responsiveness. Sparks are designed for providers or staff to deliver in 15-30 minutes at staff meetings or professional development opportunities. These trainings will “spark” discussion and reflection among your multidisciplinary team. All sparks include a PowerPoint presentation, a facilitator outline and follow-up materials.

Browse Sparks library
teen boy smiles at camera
Cultural Responsiveness

Identify and discuss key concepts about providing culturally responsive health care to young people and reflect on various cultural norms unique to adolescence.

Access the training
Dr. Nash speaks with a young patient
Non-Verbal Communication Bias

Explore how nonverbal communication can set the tone for youth/adult interactions, both in messages we convey and in how we interpret messages from youth.

Access the training
Happy young people jumping in the snow
Sparks+ Trainings

This four-part training for educators and administrators sparks conversation about racism in schools and promotes healing. Individual topics include, Intersectionality, Addressing the Impact of Racism, Managing Microaggressions in Schools, and Incorporating Healing Justice in Schools

Racial Justice for Youth in Schools
Starter Guides
Toolkits for improving care

AHI Starter Guides are mini-toolkits that offer concrete, actionable steps to improve adolescent care. AHI currently offers one Starter Guide on building LGBTQ+ friendly services.

Access the guide
Featured Videos

Teens from AHI’s REACH share their priorities for their health care, including confidentiality, respectful treatment and communication.

Learn from transgender and gender non-conforming youth as they share their health care experiences and ways the system can be improved.

Engage in a dialogue around root causes of racial oppression, intersectionality, and power imbalance in the United States with this recording from AHI’s 2021 Connection Session, Racial Equity in Adolescent Health Care: Developing an Anti-Racist Practice.

Panel Discussion on the Impacts of Racism on Adolescent Health at the 2021 Connection Session

Learn from Dr. Polly Y. Gipson’s keynote on You, Me and Transgenerational Trauma: Moving from Trauma-Awareness to Trauma-Informed Care from AHI’s 2020 Connection Session.

Explore the importance of understanding and naming the impact that structural racism has on adolescent health outcomes with this recording from AHI’s 2021 Connection Session, Racial Equity in Adolescent Health Care: Developing an Anti-Racist Practice.

Analyze how medical and healthcare spaces often perpetuate racism by gatekeeping and exclusion, punitive approaches and the active criminalization of marginalized populations.

We Can Help

Is your practice interested in learning more about cultural responsiveness? We help health centers across the country become more adolescent-centered.

Contact us