This paper asks and answers several key questions facing scholars today who seek to understand and intervene on the impacts of racism on people's health and well being. Some of those questions include: Why discuss racism at all when talking about health? What is racism? What is race? Is there something about the environment that we have previously not named that we can usefully describe as the racial climate, and if so, how do we measure it and what is it doing? If we want to confront institutionalized racism, what does that really mean and how do we get started?