Smithsonian Channel and partners launch the Color of Care campaign to eliminate racial disparities in healthcare

April 18, 2022

The following is a press release from Smithsonian Channel:

Smithsonian Channel has revealed the trailer for The Color of Care documentary and impact campaign, a multi-platform effort to catalyze a movement to eliminate racial disparities in the delivery of U.S. healthcare. The year-long campaign will reach current and future medical professionals as well as impacted communities and policymakers at all government levels to advance solutions toward health equity.

The Color of Care education campaign will work to prepare current and future doctors, nurses and medical professionals to play an active role in combating systemic racism in the delivery of healthcare, as well as provide others with the necessary tools to address this issue and advocate for and empower patients who experience these inequities. This effort follows the premiere of The Color of Care film, produced in partnership between Smithsonian Channel, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Yance Ford, who also serves as director.

The original documentary, which chronicles how people of color suffer from systemically substandard healthcare in the United States and how COVID-19 exposed the tragic consequences of these inequities, serves as an impetus for a vital reckoning around health equity and is part of a broader effort driven by Smithsonian Channel to move conversation and action around this topic forward.

“The COVID crisis has exposed gross inequalities in our healthcare system which, if left unaddressed, will again disproportionately impact people of color during the next health emergency,” said James Blue, Head, Smithsonian Channel(TM). “This campaign will work to address these inequalities.”

The campaign will feature multiple activations over the coming months including a digital series highlighting changemakers disrupting the healthcare system, curricular materials for classrooms, and a national grassroots screening tour of The Color of Care film that engages medical and nursing schools, professional healthcare networks and associations, healthcare and medical journalists, non-profit organizations, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Some of the campaigns’ current partners include:

· Paramount’s Content for Change initiative, which seeks to transform the entire creative ecosystem by supporting inclusive creators and content.

· Leading social impact agency Picture Motion Campaigns is providing strategy advisement, curated partnerships, development of a Digital Impact Hub, creation of supplementary educational materials, and grassroots screening activations in key communities to further the movement.

· The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which is dedicated to transforming health through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations, is a campaign collaborator for medical-school focused screenings.

· The Smithsonian Channel has teamed up with TikTok to exclusively livestream a panel event with MTV News for “The Color of Care,” that will bring together experts to discuss the racial inequities in healthcare and how viewers can take action to address this issue. The panel, hosted by MTV’s Nessa with an introduction by Oprah Winfrey, will stream exclusively @smithsonianchannel on TikTok on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 7pm ET and features health policy expert and Executive Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine Daniel E. Dawes, JD; Associate Professor of Social Epidemiology at Ohio State and the founder, director and principal investigator of the Social Epidemiology to Eliminate Disparities (SEED) Lab Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, PhD, MPH; and family medicine physician and co-founder of The Coalition to Advance Antiracism in Medicine (CAAM) Brittani James, MD.

· PBS Newshour Classroom will develop a series of lesson plans that provide middle and high school teachers and students with opportunities to learn about the history of racism in medical care in the United States and explore solutions connected to current events.

· Smithsonian Affiliations is collaborating with Affiliate organizations around the country to support the campaign through screenings, panel conversations, and digital amplification.

· Bloomberg Philanthropies is an official campaign funder. Its Greenwood Initiative, which aims to accelerate the pace of wealth accumulation for Black individuals and families and address systemic under investment in Black communities, will partner to raise awareness. The Bloomberg Philanthropies Greenwood Initiative has given $100 million to the nation’s four historically Black medical schools to both increase the number of Black doctors in the U.S. by significantly reducing the debt burden of Black medical students, and to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines through mobile vaccine units. Bloomberg Philanthropies is a global leader of public health programs and launched a series of efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, including in the U.S.

The Color of Care premieres on May 1, 2022 at 8/7c on the Smithsonian Channel in the United States and Canada, with premieres in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and across Latin America shortly afterwards in early May. The film will also premiere simultaneously, for free, on Smithsonian Channel Selects on Pluto TV in the United States.

To join in on conversations about the film, along with the ongoing Social Impact campaign, use the hashtag #TheColorOfCare.

MTV Entertainment Group

MTV Entertainment Group is a one of the preeminent youth media companies in the world that connects with global audiences through its nine iconic brands – MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Pop, Logo, Smithsonian Channel, Paramount Network and TV Land – as well as MTV Entertainment Studios, which produces acclaimed series and movies and the award-winning MTV Documentary Films.


Harpo Productions is the production division of Oprah Winfrey’s multimedia company Harpo, Inc. The company produces premium film, television, digital and social media content and is based in Los Angeles.

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