“For most of my career I have worked against the grain, focused on racism as a public health problem,” said Ford, founding director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, which works to address the root causes of racial health inequities. “To be recognized by one’s own community is very precious.”
Ford was recognized for her research, which examines relationships between racism-related factors and disparities in the health care continuum and advances the conceptual and methodological tools for studying racism’s relationship to health disparities, and also for her public service and work as a mentor for younger scholars and medical professionals, association officials said.
“She (Ford) creates these opportunities and she brings you in, and if you’re not completely blown away by her brilliance, you are absolutely inspired to be more,” said Dr. Valencia P. Walker, a neonatalogist and past president of the Association of Black Women Physicians. “I thank her for the way that she combines the passion with the power of her voice to speak truth to power.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford was recognized at a virtual awards ceremony. Along with her fellow honoree, California Wellness Foundation president and CEO, Judy Belk, Ford was recognized for being committed to improving health equity across California, both before and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.