The protests underway in many US communities are a manifestation of our nation’s failure to provide for the conditions in which all people can thrive. The growing anger is not surprising, fueled by the destructive force of pervasive racism that has been and continues to be actively supported in policy, action, and perspective, for the past several hundred years. No child anywhere on the planet is born with racist views; these ideas are taught by example, both implicitly and explicitly. Public health as a discipline has always been grounded in hard data. We are a community who derives knowledge from facts. And we have more data than we need to prove that racism kills. We are all impacted, every community and each one of us. What’s more, this is a public health emergency of epic proportion. The harmful health effects of racism cannot and must not be ignored or denied. While no one has the power to change the past, every living individual has the power to change the future. And every organization has a moral responsibility and a legitimate role in healing our nation from the longstanding damage inflicted by racism.
As a nonpartisan, national public health organization and network representing 44 public health institutes employing over 8,000 subject matter experts in myriad sub disciplines, NNPHI joins APHA and the growing list of states that declare racism as a public health crisis; we are taking action by developing policy and program interventions that strive to eliminate racism, promote healing, and achieve health equity as a means to protect and improve the health of all peoples. We are but one human race, and working in partnership, we can create a world free of racism. I invite you to join us on this bold journey, and together, we can make this our collective legacy for tomorrow’s children.
Respectfully yours in health,
Vincent Lafronza, Ed.D., M.S.
President and CEO