Almost two and a half months ago, this article on racism being a public health crisis was published on Boston.com. The journalist Dialynn Dwyer quoted leading experts and hospitals such as the Dean of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the President of Massachusetts Medical Society, Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
I live outside of Boston. How can this expertise be in my city’s backyard, yet the city’s government has not taken steps to follow the research demonstrating that racism is a public health crisis?
Progress has a long-term arc, but here are government officials I contacted this week:
- My mayor
- The commissioner of the city’s health department
- My councilors: In my case, there were four.
Whether or not I think my city is as bad as other places, the bar for addressing public health and racism (specifically anti-Blackness) is so low currently that even being better than other places is still not good enough. Advocating for the need to address racism as a public health crisis is one step toward greater long-term transformation with public funding and governance in my city and beyond.
What are you doing to hold your local government accountable for addressing racism as a public health crisis?