Chandra Ford

Dr. Chandra L. Ford is Professor of Community Health Sciences and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health in the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She is lead editor (with Derek Griffith, Marino Bruce and Keon Gilbert) of Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional (APHA Press, 2019), which was named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2020 by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine. She earned a doctorate in Health Behavior from the the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and completed postdoctoral fellowships in Social Medicine (at UNC School of Medicine) and Epidemiology (at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health), the latter as a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Kellogg Health Scholar.

Her work offers conceptual and methodological tools for studying racism as a public health problem. She originated (with Collins Airhihenbuwa) the Public Health Critical Race Praxis, which is a framework for applying Critical Race Theory empirically. Much of her empirical work examines inequities in HIV testing, care and prognoses, or documents barriers to services among LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, the Boston University Law Review, Ethnicity & DiseaseHealth Promotion PracticeJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency SyndromesSocial Science & Medicine, and other peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Ford has received many teaching awards and several notable honors, including the 2020 Wade Hampton Frost Award from the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Black Women Physicians, a TrueHero Award from TruEvolution and the 2019 Paul Cornely Award from the Health Activist Dinner group.

Dr. Ford serves the profession extensively. In 2016, she served on the National Academy of Medicine’s Committee on Community-based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States and was named co-chair of the Committee on Science of the American Public Health Association’s Anti-Racism Collaborative. She is a longstanding member of the American College of Epidemiology’s Minority Affairs Committee and a former president of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues. In addition, she has been involved with the Black Radical Congress and partnered with the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders.

Center Affiliations


  • Postdoctorate, Columbia University, New York City, NY
  • Postdoctorate, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • MPH, University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • MLIS, University of Pittsburgh, PA

Areas of Interest

  • Health equity
  • Social epidemiology/social determinants of health
  • Health implications of racism
  • Conceptualization & measurement of race, ethnicity and related constructs
  • Public Health Critical Race Praxis (PHCRP)/Critical Race Theory
  • HIV care continuum
  • HIV and aging
  • Sexual minority health
  • Access to care

Selected Courses

  • CHS 220 - Racism and Public Health: Social Epidemiologic Concepts and Methods
  • CHS 477 - Health Disparities, Health Equity and Sexual Minority Populations

Selected Publications

  • Ford CL and Airhihenbuwa CO. “Just What is CRT and What’s it Doing in a Progressive Field like Public Health? Ethnicity & Disease Supplement Applying Critical Race Theory in Health Equity Research [in press].
  • Ford CL, Takahashi LM, Chandanabhumma PP, Ruiz ME and Cunningham WE. Anti-racism Methods for Big Data Research: Lessons Learned from the HIV Testing, Linkage, & Retention in Care (HIV TLR) Study, Ethnicity & Disease Supplement Applying Critical Race Theory in Health Equity Research [in press].
  • Doll KM, Snyder CR and Ford CL. Endometrial Cancer Disparities: A Race Conscious Critique of the Literature. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2017 (17):31131-6.
  • Cunningham WE, Ford CL, Kinsler JJ, et al. Effects of a Laboratory Health Information Exchange Intervention on Antiretroviral Therapy Use, Viral Suppression, and Racial/Ethnic Disparities. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2017;75(3):290-298.
  • Caldwell JT*, Ford CL, Wallace ST, Wang MC, Takahashi LM. Racial and Ethnic Residential Segregation and Access to Healthcare in Rural Areas Health & Place 2017 Jan;43:104-112
  • Ford CL. Public Health Critical Race Praxis: An introduction, an intervention and three points for consideration. Wisconsin Law Review 2016 (3):477-491.
  • Caldwell JT*, Ford CL, Wallace ST, Wang MC, Takahashi LM. Clarifying Place Disparities: The Intersection of Rural/Urban and Race/Ethnicity in Explaining Access to Healthcare American Journal of Public Health 2016 Aug;106(8):1463-9.
  • Ford CL, Mulatu M, Godette DC and Gaines TL. Trends in HIV testing among older adults prior to and since release of CDC’s routine HIV testing recommendations: National findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Public Health Reports 2015 130(5): 514–525 PMCID: PMC4529835
  • Ford CL, Godette DC, Mulatu M and Gaines TL. HIV testing prevalence, determinants and disparities in a nationally representative sample of older adults: Findings from the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2015 Aug;42(8):405-10. PMCID: PMC4869980
  • Thrasher AD, Clay OJ, Ford CL, Stewart AL. Theory-guided selection of discrimination measures for racial/ethnic health disparities research among older adults. Journal of Aging and Health 2012 Sep;24(6):1018-43 PMID: 22451527.
  • Crawford ND, Ford CL, Galea S, Latkin C, Jones K and Fuller CM. The relationship between perceived discrimination and high risk social networks among illicit drug users in New York City, 2006-2009 AIDS & Behavior [In Press Apr 2012].  
  • Gee GC and Ford CL. Structural Racism and Health Inequities: Old Issues, New Directions.  DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race 2011;8(1):115-132.
  • Ford CL and Airhihenbuwa CO. The Public Health Critical Race Methodology: Praxis for Antiracism Research. Social Science & Medicine 2010 71(8):1390-8.  
  • Ford CL and Harawa NT. A new conceptualization of ethnicity for social epidemiologic and health equity research. Social Science & Medicine 2010;71(2):251-8. PMCID: PMC2908006.
  • Ford CL and Airhihenbuwa CO. Critical Race Theory, race equity and public health: Toward antiracism praxis. American Journal of Public Health 2010;100(Suppl 1):S30-S35.  PMCID: PMC2837428.
  • Ford CL, Whetten KD, Hall SA, Kaufman JS and Thrasher AD. Black sexuality, social construction, and research targeting “the Down Low” (“the DL”). Annals of Epidemiology 2007 Mar;17(3):209-216.

Book Chapter

  • Yancey A, Glenn BA, Ford CL and Bell-Lewis L. Dissemination and Implementation Research among Racial/Ethnic Minority and Other Vulnerable Populations. In: Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health: Translating Science to Practice. Brownson RC, Colditz GA, Proctor, EK. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017:449-470.