YWe Talk: Stand Against Racism

April 23, 2021

From Declarations to Change: Racism as a Public Health Crisis

As our nation faces the intersecting dilemmas of COVID-19 and racism, YWCAs around the country are using the April 22-25 #StandAgainstRacism campaign to dissect racism as a public health crisis. YWCA Central Alabama invites health care and women's leadership advocate Alethia M. Jackson and public health researcher Dr. April P. Carson to discuss the economic and social determinants of health and how racism impacts public health outcomes. Public health is central to racial justice work and is critical to uprooting systemic inequity in communities of color. They will be joined by YWCA Central Alabama CEO, Dr. LaRhonda Magras.

  • Alethia M. Jackson, Vice President, Federal Government Relations and Head of Advocacy, Walgreens
  • Dr. April Carson, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the UAB School of Public Health

Alethia is a highly experienced Public Affairs, Government Relations, and Communications executive with 20 years of success with Walgreen Co., America’s Health Insurance Plans, and National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Throughout her career, Alethia has been recognized for her ability to develop high-impact strategies, structures, and partnerships that have shaped public policy, elevated brand identity, and advanced corporate and industry policy objectives.

As Vice President, Federal Government Affairs and Head of Advocacy at Walgreens, Alethia is driving efforts to further progress the company’s vision, purpose, and strategic policy objectives to expand patient access to pharmacy services, advance the role of pharmacy within the healthcare system, and support retail growth and value creation. Alethia oversees lobbying, political engagement and grassroots functions. Additionally, she chairs a cross-functional COVID-19 vaccine equity taskforce helping to drive equitable distribution of the vaccine.

Prior to joining Walgreens, Alethia served as Vice President of Federal Affairs with America’s Health Insurance and Assistant Counsel for Health Policy for National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Alethia is passionate about empowering young women and girls though leadership development and is an active member of the Board of Directors for Running Start, a nonpartisan nonprofit that trains young women to run for public office. She is also currently on the Board of Trustees for Arena Stage Theater and on the Corporate Advocacy Board for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Alethia is a native of Brooklyn, NY.  She holds a JD degree from Syracuse University School of Law and a BA degree from State University of New York at Albany.  Alethia currently resides in Washington, DC with her dog Jack.

Connect with Alethia on LinkedIn and Instagram:


Alethia Jackson | LinkedIn

Dr. Carson is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.

Dr. Carson’s research centers broadly on determinants of health disparities in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She has experience with several large observational cohort studies and has published on a range of social, clinical, and lifestyle factors related to the occurrence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A Georgia native, Dr. Carson completed her B.S. in Microbiology at the University of Georgia and her M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, Dr. Carson has an active research portfolio funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health and she is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association.

Connect with Dr. Carson on Twitter @AprilCarsonPhD