Where we live can impact our health more than the traits we inherit from our parents. Essentially, zip codes matter more than genetic codes. Like individuals, whole communities can be traumatized. Harmful experiences now and from generations past can weigh on the collective psyche, holding back people’s progress and priming them for stress-related illness. Institutional racism, chronic unemployment, poverty, limited opportunity, disinvestment, and loss of economic resources destroy the infrastructure and sap a community’s strength, denying its children the opportunities other neighborhoods provide.

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