At the Center, we are profoundly angered and saddened by the murder of George Floyd and too many other Black individuals at the hands of police. The demonstrations we’re seeing in Philadelphia, and around the country, are a powerful, terrible reminder that so many in our communities do not experience the level of safety, health, and security that everyone in this country deserves. That these protests are even required in the context of a pandemic that already disproportionately affects Black people is all the more unjust.
As public health law researchers, we seek to affirm and amplify facts and evidence. Systems produce the results they are designed to, and it is a deeply rooted fact that American systems have been built, reinforced, and normalized, generation after generation, to uphold and assert systemic and interpersonal racism, favoring white lives while actively oppressing and harming Black individuals and communities, and other communities of color. We see this play out over and over again in our research on the role of law and policy in housing, reproductive health, substance use and abuse, chronic disease, maternal and child health, and criminal justice, among many others.
Ending racial injustice and establishing equity requires us to work together, collectively, to affirm that Black lives matter; that Black lives possess a fundamental humanity, and that the Black community has a fundamental right to have their most basic needs met.
This work is essential, and we are steadfast in our commitment to systemic, evidence-based change.
Our commitment going forward:
- We will work to more clearly center race and inequity as a core public health issue and social determinant of health in our work.
- We will work diligently and concertedly to ensure our work and our staff reflect a broad range of contexts and backgrounds.
- We will listen to, amplify, and elevate the voices of researchers of color, and work that centers communities of color.
- We will use our intellectual position to bridge the gap between research and the systemic change our institutions desperately seek.