To Achieve Greater Equity, We First Must Confront Racial Injustice

We denounce the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery who – among thousands of others – are the most recent victims of crimes linked to white supremacy in our country.

We also know that denunciation is not enough. Accountability is paramount – accountability both for the perpetrators of these crimes and the long-standing systems that have empowered their commission.

As framed earlier this week by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative:

We need to reckon with our history of racial injustice. I think everything we are seeing is a symptom of a larger disease. We have never honestly addressed all the damage that was done during the two and a half centuries that we enslaved black people. The great evil of American slavery wasn’t the involuntary servitude; it was the fiction that black people aren’t as good as white people, and aren’t the equals of white people, and are less evolved, less human, less capable, less worthy, less deserving than white people.

Among other strategies, we urge those committed to ending police violence against Black people, Latinx people, Indigenous people, and people of color to:

MLPB is committed to advancing health equity by strengthening the capacity of care teams and systems to embrace legal problem-solving strategies – a powerful lever to promote individual, family and community health. As such, we recognize the urgency of a shift from meeting health-related social needs (HRSN) at the household level to transforming social determinants (structural drivers) of health (SDOH) at the system and policy levels.

All who embrace this shift – including MLPB – must recognize that the long-standing crisis of racialized police brutality is inextricably connected to other forms of racial injustice in our country, including but not limited to residential racial segregation, disproportionate policing of children of color that engines a racialized school-to-prison pipeline and exacerbates mass incarceration, disproportionate reporting of families of color to child protection authorities, and disproportionate un-/under-banking and related economic exclusion. This whole is much bigger than the sum of its parts. And while MLPB threads structural competency and non-discrimination principles throughout our capacity-building services, we are re-examining and deepening these dimensions of our work going forward, and look forward to your feedback on this effort. 

Thank you for your partnership in listening, learning, and striving to foster a healthy and just society. 

SMorton Signature
Samantha Morton, CEO

Organizational Statements

American Association of Medical Colleges Statement on Policy Brutality and Racism in America and Their Impact on Health (2020)
American Nurses Association: ANA President Condemns Racism, Brutality and Senseless Violence Against Black Communities (2020)
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – In Solidarity: A Message to the ACOG Community (2020)
ASTHO: Nation’s Public Health Leaders Stand United Against Racism (2020)
American College of Physicians: Internists ‘Gravely Concerned’ About Discrimination and Violence by Public Authorities and Others (2020)
Statement from March of Dimes in Response to the Death of George Floyd (2020)
National Association of Community Health Centers Statement Regarding the Killing of George Floyd (2020)
National Association of Community Health Workers Statement of Solidarity (2020)
American Medical Association: Police Brutality Must Stop (2020)
American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health (2019)
American Public Health Association Policy Statement: Addressing Law Enforcement Violence as a Public Health Issue (2018)
Additional Resources

Know Your Rights While Protesting Police Brutality (2020)
Trevor Speaks Out About the Murder of George Floyd (2020)
‘It Is White People Who Need to Do More’: [MA Attorney General] Maura Healey Calls for Officers to be Charged in George Floyd’s Death (2020)
[RI Governor] Raimondo: ’We All Need to be More Honest About Privilege’ (2020)
Hope Springs Infernal for Better Policing (2020)
Keeping Your Guard Up: Hypervigilance Among Urban Residents Affected by Community and Police Violence (2019)
1619 (2019)
Access to What? (2019)
New Era of Public Safety: A Guide to Fair, Safe and Effective Community Policing (2019)
Key Equity Terms and Concepts: A Glossary for Shared Understanding (2019)
ACEs [Adverse Childhood Experiences] Teach Us Why Racism is a Health Equity Issue (2018)
Why President Obama’s Police Reform is a Work in Progress (2016)
I am Not Your Negro (2016)
The Case for Reparations (2014)