LISTEN: Black Churches Take on Fight Against Racial Disparities In Health Care

Johnny J. Hollis, Jr., pastor of Mercy Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., talks to classmates, Dorothy McAdory, right, and Darlene Cotton last week after a session on health disparities at the Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham. (Photo: Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY)

Some black churches in the South have taken a dramatic step: banning fried chicken from their Sunday menus.

It is part of a broad effort to combat the persistent truth that blacks suffer from conditions like heart disease and diabetes at much higher rates than whites.

USA TODAY’s Deborah Berry visited an event in a Birmingham, Ala., church last week where the Alabama Baptist State Congress of Christian Education convened a training for community leaders on ways to bring better health care to people in church, in barbershops, and in neighborhood grocery stores. But participants said they are concerned that any roll back of the Affordable Care Act could make their jobs harder.

Berry joined us on USA TODAY’s Cup of Politics podcast to talk about the effort.