COLUMBUS (July 27, 2020) —
The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies strongly supports
Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) resolution
declaring that racism is a public health crisis. For far too long, racism has negatively impacted the health and safety of minorities throughout this country. Brown’s proposed resolution acknowledging systemic racism is an overdue yet vital step in creating public policy to eradicate barriers for persons of color.
“The data is clear: racism is a public health crisis and must be acknowledged as one,” said Philip E. Cole, executive director at OACAA. “Every American deserves access to equitable care and opportunities to live their healthiest life, thereby creating strong individuals and communities.”
Racial inequities in healthcare have been evident for decades. Comprehensive studies that compare health outcomes and race have proven that persons of color experience higher rates of infant mortality, cancer, and stroke. Inequitable access to healthcare, food, education, and more has contributed to these statistics resulting in trauma, increased stress levels, poverty, and death.
“As Americans, we have the responsibility to ensure public health policies are put in place to prevent disease and death,” said Cole. “Racism causes harm to our friends, family, neighbors, and communities; it has been ignored for far too long. We, as a country, must prioritize this crisis.”
The Community Action Network strongly supports this critical recognition of public health and believes the recognition of racism as a crisis, along with the commitment to address policies in response, will make America stronger and a better place to live. The network continues to work towards eradicating racism and building opportunities for Ohioans.