There are two public health crises happening in this country: a novel coronavirus and racism. Both are ravaging communities of color, COVID-19 for months, and racism for centuries, resulting in substantial and measurable disparities in the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of these communities. Public health, healthcare systems, healthcare policies, and advocates like us have not always prioritized the health of communities of color. We must do better.
In the past few weeks, we have been vocal about the need to stay home, wear a mask, stay six feet apart, fund food assistance programs, support tobacco users who want to quit, and work together to flatten the curve.
We would not be doing service to our mission if we were not also vocal about the need to address systemic racism. To be silent is to accept the status quo, and we do not accept this. We must work toward a world where communities of color can live their healthiest lives.
We denounce the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. We denounce policies and practices that perpetuate racism.
We stand with communities of color. We will continue to work to advance equitable policies that reduce health disparities, prevent chronic disease, and promote health. We will continue to speak up when we encounter racism; we will continue to read, learn, and advocate; and we will continue to work to address our own biases and the ways in which we perpetuate prejudices.
We invite you to participate in ongoing conversations about how NCAH can best lend our voice to this movement and solidify our commitment to equity. We look forward to continuing to partner with you in this critical work.
Morgan, Marianne, and Arlene