Author Credentials

  1. Christopher Williams, MPH is a public health researcher and PhD student in his final year. He is the founder of Public Health Liberation
  2. Jehan El-Bayoumi, MD is a professor of medicine, medical educator, and founding director of the GW Rodham Institute
  3. P.S. Perkins is Founder and Chief Creative Officer of the Human Communication Institute and communication faculty at the University of the District of Columbia.
  4. Dena Walker is a longstanding resident community leader and Executive Director for the Greenleaf Resident Advisory Group
  5. Felecia Williams, PhD is an Associate Dean and specializes in urban theory and political theory.
  6. Joy Burungi is a community health worker in rural Uganda
  7. Melody Brown MPH, MHSA, is the Data Science Product Manager for the Data Science Team and Co-Chair of the Recruitment and Retention Equity Sub-Committee of the Violence and Racism Workgroup of LA County Department of Public Health.
  8. James Deutsch is a Canadian clinical psychologist who specializes in treating trauma, including historical trauma
  9. Rhonda Hamilton is a lifelong community leader, public housing advocate, and public health professional who is passionate about improving the health and well-being of her community. She is an elected official, representing the Buzzard Point and public housing communities as an Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
  10. Ebony Moody is a leading project management expert and experienced membership engagement specialist. Ms. Moody serves on the Public Health Liberation Board
  11. Patricia Bishop is a longstanding community leader and Board member of the Greenleaf Resident Advisory Group

Author ORCID Identifier

Christopher Williams (main author) https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5767-8048


Public Health Liberation (PHL) is an innovative general theory of public health aimed at accelerating health equity. This paper provides a rich synthesis of philosophical traditions, novel theories, and approaches to establish the basis for a new public health transdiscipline. The authors argue that the "public health economy" as a single analytic lens elucidates the contradictions and tensions that reproduce vast health inequity. Authored by a majority of Black women, community experiences and perspectives are a major strength of this paper because they draw upon leadership experiences with contemporary issues.

The authors begin by describing their background in public health advocacy and by demonstrating the need for PHL using lead-contaminated water crises from Flint, Michigan and Washington, DC. They discuss the benefits of horizontal and vertical integration that broaden public health discourse to include affected populations and that seek opportunities throughout the public health economy. Their philosophical and theoretical reasoning reinterprets and adopts disciplinary concepts in political theory, sociology, women's studies, African American emancipatory writing, anti-racism, and community psychology to form a culturally relevant worldview and cogent thesis. Several new constructs emerge that do not appear elsewhere in the literature - Gaze of the Enslaved, Morality Principle, liberation, illiberation, liberation safe spaces, public health realism, and hegemony. The authors use their ethical and theoretical assumptions to guide practice and community self-help. Public Health Liberation presents a major challenge to assumptions about public health effectiveness in addressing vast health inequity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License