A Time for Change
June 4, 2020
Our Statement in Response to the Killing of George Floyd
Racism. If we don't acknowledge it, we can't change it.
Like others watching the video of the killing of George Floyd, we felt disgust and outrage. Just as we had viewing similar scenes time and time and time before.
What is important to keep in mind is that these are not singular acts or isolated moments. What happened on a street in Minneapolis was a window into a much larger injustice. Individuals and communities of color disadvantaged by a system that is unjust, biased, and broken.
As an organization focused on health, we look at these events from the perspective of health equity. Achieving better health for all who live in North Carolina will be impossible if we don't first acknowledge this brokenness, and then - more importantly - do something about it.
Progress cannot be made without addressing the systemic racism and structural inequities that have been engrained within our society for generations. Policies and practices adopted over time have had destructive consequences, resulting in inequitable distributions of money, power, property, access, and resources - factors essential to creating fair opportunities for all lives, especially Black lives, to be healthy.
It's important to recognize, however, that systems don't create themselves. It is the decisions of individuals, of organizations, of governments - large and small - that created the unjust policies and practices still present today. And it will be the decisions of individuals, organizations, and governments that undo them.
Though daunting and difficult, we believe that will happen. That change is possible. We see it every day in communities across the state. Stakeholders coming together. Residents giving voice and leading change. Institutions understanding the instrumental role they can play. We are witness to fair-minded people working together to bring about justice, to bring about health for everyone. If it can happen in a single community, it can happen across a nation.
But we all have a role to play. Responsibility falls on each of us to be the change. And we commit to continuing to be part of the solutions rising from the calls for action that echo out of the demonstrations enveloping cities across our state and around the world.
Today, though, we pause. We pause to simply say that we stand with, and in support of, those who bear the brunt of these injustices first-hand and those who are committed to fighting them.