29 Jul HEC Statement of Support for Senate Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis
July 29, 2020
The Health Equity Collaborative (HEC), a broad-based group comprised of national civil rights, progressive, and multicultural organizations applauds Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) for introducing a new Senate Resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.
As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact our communities, now is the time for our leaders in Washington to recognize the pervasive effects systemic racism has on the health of communities of color. Historically prejudiced institutions and policy measures have systematically undervalued the lives of America’s most vulnerable. Acknowledging the existence of these discriminatory barriers to care is an important first step towards identifying and implementing solutions to bridge the health equity gap.
It is our belief that strong steps must be taken to lower healthcare costs and improve access and quality for at-risk populations. Therefore, we stand in strong support of the resolution’s establishment of a nationwide strategy to tackle the root causes of inequities in health – across economic, demographic, and social lines. Implementing a national strategy ensures that politicians will no longer be able to exclude, discriminate, and neglect the health needs of communities of color.
There is a real need for policymakers to ensure minority communities are front-and-center in the stakeholder participation process since underserved communities have been left out of the conversation around public health outcomes. We thank these Senators for championing health equity by taking necessary steps to dismantle systemic policies and practices that perpetuate racism.