The purpose of this paper is to apply Paulo Freire’s writings from Pedagogy of the Oppressed to critique current efforts to reduce cancer health disparities (CHDs) among Latinos in the USA.
Freire’s writings on oppression, critical consciousness, praxis and dialogical education are applied to recent efforts to reduce CHDs among Latinos in the USA through the use of promotores.
Freireian teachings can provide insight on ways to engage Latino communities in culturally sensitive conversations that respect deeply rooted beliefs, and address the political and socioeconomic inequities many continue to face. Programs must revisit Freire’s political and transformative roots to ensure efforts to reduce CHDs also promote health equity and community empowerment.
Public health initiatives should incorporate Freireian principles of dialogical education and critical consciousness in the development of cancer prevention and screening programs tailored to Latinos in the USA to ensure program longevity and success.
Approaching conversations and interactions dialogically can foster critical engagement and empower collective action among Latino communities in efforts to improve their environments and reduce health disparities.
This is a multi-layered analysis of different social and structural factors influencing CHDs among Latinos in the USA, and is coupled with a historical overview of colonialism and oppression in Latin America. It culminates in suggestions on ways to improve future public health efforts that embrace Freireian approaches and promote health equity.
The author is extremely grateful for Dr Deanna Kerrigan’s guidance, critical contributions and thoughtful insight during the development of this manuscript. The author also wants to thank the following colleagues for their instrumental feedback: Tuo-Yen Tseng, Samantha Tsang, Beata Dbinski, Kriti Jain, Jennifer Brown, Darriel Harris, Pamela Transgestein, Dan Woznica and Stella Park. The author is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Research Service Award T32 CA009314. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Rivera, Y. (2018), "Reducing cancer health disparities among US Latinos: a Freireian approach", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 368-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-02-2018-0021Download as .RIS
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