Presence 5 for Racial Justice

Team Leads: Donna Zulman, MD, Cati Brown-Johnson, PhD, and Megha Shankar, MD

The racial disparities observed during the COVID-19 pandemic call for attention to clinician communication strategies that address underlying structural racism and inequity to promote healing amidst a history of racism in medicine. The Presence 5 team is currently pursuing projects related to this topic:


Clinician Communication Practices to Disrupt Racism and Promote Health Equity

Supported by a Stanford RISE Covid-19 Response Seed Grant, we are partnering with community clinics serving predominantly Black patients to identify communication practices that undercut the negative impacts of racism in medicine and address health disparities observed in clinical care outcomes in clinical research.

Transdisciplinary Anti-Racism Communication Strategies: Insights from Diverse Fields

This qualitative study will involve interviews with professionals from diverse fields outside of clinical medicine to identify transdisciplinary anti-racism communication strategies that are used to promote racial justice and have potential applications within the health care setting. 

Presence 5 for Racial Justice Medical Education Curriculum

This project adapts the Presence 5 framework and associated Presence Circles to develop a discussion-based curriculum to foster anti-racist dialogue among medical trainees, teach strategies to reflect on personal biases and historical racism, encourage advocacy for Black patients, and promote racial justice through medicine.

Presence 5 for Racial Justice Action Lab: Translating research into practice to promote health equity and racial justice in health care

Supported by a grant from Stanford's Center for Comparative Race and Ethnicity, the Presence 5 for Racial Justice Action Lab aims to develop and disseminate evidence-ased communication practices for clinicans to address structural, institutional, and personally mediated forms of racism faced by Black patients. The Lab will serve to translate the above Presence for Racial Justice projects into action by synthesizing research findings and disseminating recommendations for communication strategies that promote racial justice, build trust, and engage Black patients in clinical care.


The Presence 5 study is supported by a grant from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. Presence for Racial Justice projects are supported by the Graham Ladensohn Presence 5 fellowship, a seed grant from the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research, and an anonymous gift to the Presence Center.