The Community Clinic Consortium condemns police brutality, and the systemic racism that American social, political, and economic systems have been built on that lead to disadvantage, harm, trauma, and premature death within Black communities. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, our community, member clinics, and their patients who are outraged and saddened by the tragic passing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many other black people whose lives were senselessly taken away from their loved ones, their community, and our nation.
As an organization that advocates daily to close the health inequality gap, we acknowledge that racism is a public health issue. Black people are over-policed, experience routine micro-aggressions, direct racism, and systemic racism leading to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and a weathering effect on the body that can create or exacerbate health conditions. In the United States, black men are nearly four times more likely to be killed than their white counterparts during encounters with the police. Black women are 2-6 times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women. The COVID-19 death rate for black Americans is 2.4 times higher than for white Americans. The mental and emotional trauma inflicted on black communities from witnessing the atrocities of police brutality and death at the hands of law enforcement or self-appointed neighborhood vigilantes as we’ve seen over the past month, and countless times throughout history is a social crisis, a moral crisis for our nation, and – we believe – a public health crisis. We are inspired by black communities and their allies who are raising their voices and filling the streets, even during a global pandemic, to demand change.
As a nonprofit that represents community health centers, rooted in social justice, the Consortium wholeheartedly supports the Black Lives Matter campaign. Community Health Centers began out of the civil rights movement. Our member clinics, LifeLong Medical Care, La Clínica de La Raza, OLE Health, Planned Parenthood of Northern California, and Community Medical Centers have a rich history of advocating for policy reforms that seek to end health and social system inequalities that disproportionately impact black communities. We remain steadfast in our commitment to continuing this work in pursuit of a more equitable society.
In partnership and solidarity,
Community Clinic Consortium Staff