FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2021
Michael K. Frisby
Statement by Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity
GUILTY VERDICT IN GEORGE FLOYD MURDER TRIAL MARKS MAJOR ADVANCE TOWARDS RACIAL JUSTICE
WASHINGTON – “When Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, many of us openly wept. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty on all counts for the brutal murder of George Floyd. It was a public execution of a Black man lying helplessly in the street as police colleagues looked on callously and stunned civilian witnesses pleaded for the officer to lift his knee from Floyd’s neck.
“Chauvin is now being held accountable for his actions.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris courageously stepped into this moment of shared relief and collective humanity by calling for racial equity and publicly asserting the significance of this trial’s outcome for our nation’s journey toward racial justice.
“At NCHE, we are among the many who wept and exhaled as we accepted this sign of renewed hope that justice for people of color, especially unarmed Black people killed by police, is possible within our legal system. Centuries of injustice have demonstrated that America’s legal system is built on the failed belief in a racial hierarchy. It can and must be transformed.
“It begins with a shared vision for transformative change and the deep belief that it can happen. A rare, miraculous confluence of factors combined to create this unprecedented outcome; it is so rare that law enforcement is held accountable, especially when the victim is Black. This may be a harbinger of system transformation. Floyd’s death spurred the largest, most sustained diverse mobilization of protests and calls for racial justice in history. We believe this was a determining factor in the outcome. The masses could not be denied.
“NCHE stands in solidarity with Floyd‘s family, the Black Lives Matter movement and millions of people of all races and ethnicities around the world. We send heartfelt thanks for protesting, never giving up and demanding justice. For the first time in history, millions of people stood up for a Black man, for George Floyd, and in so doing, stood up for the countless other victims. “Throughout our nation’s history, people of color have suffered and died from racist cruelty and brutality, while the legal system worked against them, rather than for justice for all.
“Transformation of entrenched systemic racism requires galvanized public will. At NCHE, we continue working to build that resolve and commitment to racial and health equity through ongoing partnerships that support truth and racial healing, convenings of community, public and private sector leaders and leveraging relevant research and data to inform effective public policies and private practices that fuel progress and change.
“Today, we join millions in breathing a bit freer now that a guilty verdict has been rendered and the humanity of George Floyd is re-affirmed. Our march for justice goes on.”
Full PDF: HERE
National TRHT Emergency Town Hall: Responding to Anti-Asian Violence
March 17, 2021
Today we mourn alongside Atlanta’s Asian American Pacific Islander community and for the lives lost during last night’s senseless attack. This hatred, violence and false blame perpetrated on innocent people is tearing at the fabric of our shared humanity, with unfathomable consequences. Everyone at the National Collaborative for Health Equity stands in solidarity with the AAPI community and we harshly condemn these acts of violence and racist abuse.
Last night’s attack marks another such event in a long line of hateful acts against communities of color and, specifically, Asian American and Pacific Islanders. There is much work to be done if we are to prevent the next occurrence from happening. But our resolve is unshaken, and our work toward changing hearts and minds and ending racism continues unabated.
We believe that racial healing can and must strengthen our shared bond across communities. The myth of a human hierarchy is now, and always has been, a false one. The way forward is through shared understanding and addressing the systemic inequities that hold people back. Our work continues to transform systems toward a truly equitable and fair nation. The health, security, and happiness of our country depend on it.
Throughout the last year, especially the last few weeks, there has been a substantial increase in verbal assaults and physical attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. Recent data shows hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2020 jumped by 150 percent in major U.S. cities. The United Nations reports more than 1,800 racist incidents against Asian Americans, including physical violence through August 2020. Elderly members of the AAPI community have suffered some of the most brutal attacks, resulting in injury and death. Fear and anxiety are leaving lasting effects on the community as a whole.
The National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE) stands in support of and solidarity with members of the AAPI community. We condemn these acts of violence and racist abuse, and we will continue our ongoing efforts to bring an end to racism and its harmful consequences in this nation.
The myth of a human hierarchy has been long promoted and has included the AAPI communities. A history of violence in the U.S. dating back 150 years began by erroneously blaming Asian Americans for smallpox, which also created a lasting “disease meme.” Further, the success of some Asian Americans has created a false belief in a monolithic Asian American “model minority.”
President Biden’s recent official action of advancing inclusion and belonging for all people and condemning and combatting violence, racism, and xenophobia against the AAPI community provides crucial leadership when we very much need it. As Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said in reintroducing legislation calling for the establishment of the first United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT), “inequality, systemic racism, and white supremacy are the heart of every crisis we’re facing right now…(to) realize our nation’s promise, we must address this.”
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are builders of and contributors to this nation. They represent all walks of life. From academia to business, science to the military, the arts to activism, main street to Wall Street, the AAPI community continues to strengthen America.
At the NCHE, we believe that racial healing can strengthen our common bond of humanity. There is no place in American society for violence or hatred. Our work continues to transform systems to address equity and fairness nationwide, which is imperative for our national health and security.
THE NATIONAL COLLABORATIVE FOR HEALTH EQUITY (NCHE) PARTNERS WITH KIND HEALTHY SNACKS TO SUPPORT FOOD SECURITY TO BIPOC COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE US
NCHE deploys HOPE Initiative Data to Identify High Food Insecurity Locations
WASHINGTON, DC – NCHE is pleased to announce its collaboration with KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) to support the company’s efforts to address racial inequality and inequity facing Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities across areas of racial justice, education, food & insecurity.
As part of KIND’s partnership with NCHE, the brand released its second-annual KIND EQUALITY bar in support of the next generation of changemakers. KIND has made a $25,000 donation to support NCHE leaders addressing food security & injustice in local communities, and proudly included the donation commitment along with NCHE’s mission on the KIND EQUALITY bar carton. In addition, KIND is donating one million bars with guidance from NCHE to communities with the highest levels of food insecurity across the country.
Dr. Gail C. Christopher, NCHE’s executive director, applauded the company’s contributions to building community equity, saying, “We are excited to have KIND as a partner in our quest to jettison racism and racial inequities. Their efforts will certainly help address food insecurity in communities ravished by the health and economic consequences of COVID-19, and distressed from decades of health, economic, housing and education disparities.”
In fact, the American Journal of Public Health reported that researchers have documented unprecedented levels of food insecurity, higher rates than during the Great Recession. Estimates of food insecurity in the US hovered around 11% to 12% in recent years, but as of early spring 2020 national estimates of food insecurity more than tripled to 38%. Data found that 44% of all households were food insecure including 48% of Black households, 52% of Hispanic households, and 54% of households with children.
“People of Color have been disproportionally exposed to long-standing inequalities rampant across our healthcare system, economy, and society,” says Daniel Lubetzky, KIND’s Founder and Executive Chairman. “Overcoming these challenges will require all of us to deepen our commitment to standing up against injustice and taking stock of our own actions, big or small, each day. As a global brand and movement, KIND has an even greater opportunity and responsibility to make an impact and we’re proud to be supporting NCHE’s efforts.”
With data from their Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative, NCHE provided KIND with comprehensive food insecurity projections that are guiding the allocation of KIND bar donations to communities with the greatest food needs. To identify states experiencing the highest levels of food insecurity, NCHE used a combination of HOPE data for state information on food insecurity and Feeding America’s 2020 county projections. With food insecure communities the focus of KIND’s donations, NCHE also used Census data to provide demographic mapping.
The data show that the states with the highest levels of food insecurity are Arizona, Wyoming, Mississippi, South Dakota, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Alaska, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Texas. Within each state, NCHE identified five counties with the greatest food needs, as well as providing demographic breakdowns of each county. “This is an excellent use of data from the HOPE initiative,” said Christopher. “It is the type of collaboration that we hoped to achieve. We want to partner with public and private sector organizations and provide them with this critical minority health data that can shape efforts to address racial injustice, inequality and inequity in communities across the country.”
The HOPE research tracked 27 indicators on health outcomes and factors that shape health and well-being – social and economic factors, food insecurity, community and safety conditions, physical environment, and access to health care. The research on these social determinants of health identified the opportunity gaps for people of color that frequently lead to racial inequities in health outcomes. The HOPE website at hopeinitiative.org provides an interactive experience with all 27 indicators, allowing users to explore data segmented by indicators, states, race and ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
The HOPE Initiative is a collaboration between NCHE, Texas Health Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Center on Society and Health.
Since 2004, KIND has been on a mission to create a kinder and healthier world – one snack and one act at a time. Its iconic KIND® bars – made with real, recognizable ingredients – sparked the growth of an entirely new healthy snacking category. Today, KIND has a family of more than 100 snacks that offer solutions for a variety of occasions. All of KIND’s products lead with a nutrient-dense first ingredient – whole nuts, whole grains or whole fruit – and do not contain genetically engineered ingredients, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
Inspired by the belief that acts of kindness can be a transformative force for good, both the KIND brand and The KIND Foundation seek to inspire kindness and empathy. KIND was founded by Daniel Lubetzky. To learn more about KIND, please visit www.kindsnacks.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2021
Michael K. Frisby
Statement by Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity
A TRUTH, RACIAL HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION COMMISSION CAN BRING UNITY, EQUITY AND RACIAL HEALING TO OUR NATION
“NCHE applauds Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Cory Booker for reintroducing a resolution in the House and Senate calling for the nation’s first national Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Commission. After four years of divisive rhetoric and increased violence fueled by racial hatred, it is critical that America has a mechanism to bring communities together to heal wounds of the past and find pathways for a more just future in Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The Jan. 6 insurrection and assault on the Capitol was an attack on the votes and civil liberties of millions of voters of color, and subsequently on the integrity of our democracy. The attack underscored the need for racial healing and a transformation in our people, our leaders, our communities and our institutions.
“This is a big ask. And to be accomplished, we need the power, resources and coordination that could be provided by the federal government partnering with communities to lead the healing process. This is a moment of racial reckoning. The Covid-19 pandemic’s economic, mortality and morbidity inequities are contributing to this unprecedented moment. Clearly, enough of the nation wants to transform systems to address equity and fairness across the land. Racial healing is now an imperative for protecting our national security – united communities can be important assets to help prevent future violence. Unifying and healing America can be accomplished through TRHT – the coordinated multi-sector, intergovernmental effort embedded in and led by local communities.
“The Biden administration promised to build back better and what’s better for America today is addressing the legacy of racism – the past and present. As a nation, it is critically important that we acknowledge the inequities of the past, their persistence today, and then act earnestly to heal the wounds and move forward together. NCHE believes that a TRHT Commission can help jettison the hierarchy of human value and launch a new era where all human beings are valued and have a capacity to see ourselves in one another.
“That’s the America that so many of us want.”
Join our Collaboratives for Health Equity (CHE) Cook County team, on January 28th, as they speak on what is needed in order to change the maldistribution of money, power, and resources that produces the gross injustices and inequities we see in our communities today.
Thursday, January 28, 2021
5:00-6:30 pm CST
Topic: Covid 19 Vaccination’
Register here: https://www.checookcounty.org/lets-talk-public-health
By Dr. Gail C. Christopher
National Collaborative for Health Equity
“On this day of service and reflection, the greatest service we can render as individuals and collectively is to commit to ending racism. We have now all witnessed the dangerous and destructive consequences of believing in a false hierarchy of human value, indeed of human lives. The lie of racial hierarchy and its many associated false narratives were laid bare recently. This nation’s symbolic place and institutional processes of democratic governance were violated with reckless, but determined abandon. We are still reeling from the shock and humiliation in our hearts and bodies and in the eyes of the global community.
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed we would get to the Promised Land. I believe that, too. But we must commit to the necessary work before realizing his vision, his dream. Not enough Americans share Dr. King’s Dream and far too few are willing to labor to bring it into reality. Overcoming and healing from racism requires focus, intention and disciplined effort. Most public health leaders know that defeating the Covid-19 pandemic requires communal effort.
“Our individual choices and decisions shape our collective realities and structures of normality. Many public health leaders have recently asserted that racism is a twin pandemic, a lethal public health crisis. This level of increased awareness is good news. It is time that we view the work of ending racism as a communal effort, too. The beliefs we hold about ourselves and others drive our thoughts, feelings decisions and actions. Critical actions like voting, engaging law enforcement, hiring or firing, providing opportunity or rendering medical treatment, enforcing health and safety codes and college admissions are a few illustrations of decision points that can be shaped by our levels of racism.
“Our beliefs are shaped by our lived experiences beginning in childhood. Democracy cannot translate into equity until we jettison permission to devalue people based on an antiquated taxonomy of humanity. America’s most deeply enshrined racist ideology will keep showing up within systems and policies, institutional cultures and structures of opportunity and in the communications tools of this era, mainstream and social media, until we deliberately and permanently eliminate the ideology. Algorithms will also embody and perpetuate the lies and patterns of racial hierarchy via technology and artificial intelligence without immediate intervention to stop the spread.
“Dr. King knew the protests and marches were means to an end: the creation of the Beloved Community. We also need the skills and capacities required for civility, empathy, compassion and perspective-taking. These skills are developed through effective racial healing, truth telling, trust building and transformation efforts. This is the vaccine needed for the pandemic of racism and it too will require a massive mobilization effort in response to the fierce urgency of then and now.”
PDF Version: MLK Day Statement