We, the undersigned organizations working to advance racial justice and health equity in the United States, are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has found that health insurance subsidies authorized by the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will remain intact.
The Court’s ruling in the King v. Burwell case in favor of the government reinforces the fact Congress fully intended in the ACA that all individuals who purchased health insurance through the state or federal exchanges should receive premium tax-credit subsidies if they meet eligibility requirements. This ruling should lay to rest future frivolous attempts by the law’s opponents to obstruct the ACA. Indeed, we hope that this ruling sends a strong signal that the ACA is the law of the land, and that our states and federal government should now work with all deliberate speed to ensure that the law is equitably and effectively implemented.
As a result of the ACA, an unprecedented number of individuals and families now possess health insurance. A large body of research demonstrates that lacking health insurance decreases the likelihood of receiving timely, high-quality care; places families at risk for bankruptcy should a loved one become sick and require health care; decreases productivity; and increases risk for premature mortality. Many of these risks persist and are even exacerbated in communities of color, which continue to have high rates of uninsurance relative to white Americans, and which face a higher burden of disease, disability, and premature death. With the ACA now a settled matter, and with its equitable implementation, these health inequities are likely to be significantly reduced. We as organizations that work to advance racial equity therefor applaud the Court’s ruling, and hope that this ruling strongly discourages future specious attempts to dismantle the ACA.
It is time now to refocus our efforts and ensure that the law works as intended. Much more needs to be done to ensure that everyone in the United States – regardless of race, ethnicity, place of birth, or English language ability – has an equitable opportunity to live a healthy life. The ACA is a necessary, but insufficient step by itself toward this goal. But it represents the most important legislative achievement in the last 50 years to create a healthier nation. We look forward to working to build upon the gains of this historic legislation and ensuring that future generations of people in the United States will not have to fight for the right to health.
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Collaborative for Health Equity
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of La Raza
National Urban League
PICO National Network
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
WASHINGTON, June 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Leading national health, equity and civil rights groups, joining together as America Healing grantees of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, issued the following joint statement in response to the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine people dead, on June 17, 2015.
On Wednesday night the unspeakable happened in an historic church in Charleston, South Carolina. The resulting death of worshipers practicing their faith, at the hands of a killer intent on instilling fear and terror in the community, deeply grieves and saddens us. We offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.
As members of communities who have faced bigotry and who are working to eliminate hate, injustice and violence, we stand in solidarity with the community of Charleston, the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, the Black community and all those who reject hatred and violence. It is important for us to stand with one another now and affirm that an attack against one group is an attack against all and is destructive to our entire nation.
(Full article here)
The Alameda County Place Matter’s team shared the Public Health Department Health Officer and Director’s, Dr. Muntu Davis, written letter to their partners and residents about their commitment to work for racial and health equity.
Read the full letter here
Jennifer Farmer, Advancement Project
Washington, D.C. – Leading national health, racial equity and civil rights groups, joining together as grantees of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s America Healing initiative, issued the following joint statement in response to the shootings of three Muslim students of Arab descent in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Feb. 10, 2015.
We extend our condolences to the families and friends of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha and stand with Arab, Muslim and all communities across the nation in mourning their tragic deaths.
This event reminds us of the feelings of fear and terror that result from acts of violence rooted in racial discrimination. Together we raise our voices to #takeonhate and assert that differences in appearance or beliefs cannot justify violence.
As the Chapel Hill community and the rest of the nation moves forward, we must continue to strive toward racial equity, rejecting discrimination and racism, and uphold the inherent worth and dignity of all people. The strength and future of our entire nation is at stake.
We encourage others to learn more about the Take on Hate campaign here.
Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, DEMOS, NAACP, National Collaborative for Health Equity, National Congress of American Indians, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, National Council of La Raza, National Urban League, PICO, Poverty & Race Research Action Council and Race Forward are part of America Healing, a long-term effort of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, working to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children by promoting racial equity and eliminating barriers to opportunity.
The National Collaborative for Health Equity joins many other racial justice organizations around the nation in decrying the failure of the Grand Jury convened in the Michael Brown killing to indict Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson, who was responsible for Brown’s death. Officer Wilson killed Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, leading to weeks of protest, much of which was exacerbated by a highly militarized response by police reacting to a community’s outrage. Both the failure to indict Wilson, which would have led to a jury trial to determine his guilt or innocence, and the subsequent aggressive police response, have illustrated how racism continues to shape the landscape of too many U.S. cities and devalue the lives of people of color.
We know from a large and growing body of scientific research that unconscious psychological phenomena powerfully shape how people of color are viewed and treated in U.S. society. These processes – which include implicit racial bias (the tendency among the vast majority of Americans, including many people of color, to have stronger, quicker, automatically-activated and unconscious associations between positive words and images of white faces, and conversely to possess stronger, quicker associations between negative words and images of African-American faces), racial anxiety (the tendency among many Americans to feel anxious in cross-race interactions about whether they will be perceived as racially biased), and masculinity threat (the fear among men that their masculinity will be challenged, particularly when interacting with African-American men and boys) – have been demonstrated to shape how people interpret and respond to cross-race interactions, even if these individuals abhor racism and express egalitarian views. In other words, Officer Wilson, like a large majority of other Americans, may have responded with violence to Michael Brown simply because he was an African-American male, and might not have responded in the same way with a white youth. A fair trial of Officer Wilson would have at least allowed prosecutors to examine whether these unconscious processes played a role in Brown’s death, despite Wilson’s racially “neutral” defense that he felt threatened by the teen.
Aggressive policing and inequitable treatment of people of color by police not only is unfair and counter to American values, it also increases risks for poor health in communities of color – and not just among those directly harmed by police actions. It can lead to distrust of police and an unwillingness to cooperate with police investigations. It also contributes to high levels of stress among those innocent persons treated with suspicion by police, and erodes a community’s sense of security.
The National Collaborative calls for police departments around the country to avoid future tragedies such as Brown’s death by receiving training on implicit bias and other unconscious processes, and understanding the role that they play in everyday policing decisions. We also call for news media to provide more fair and balanced reporting of news involving people of color, and to focus attention on the structural barriers at the root of so many racial inequities, whether related to policing and criminal justice, economic opportunity, health, and the like. And we call on our leaders – elected officials, clergy, business leaders, civic leaders, and others – to bravely lead a national conversation on race and racism. Evidence reveals that racism literally kills people of color. This is not only morally wrong, but it also threatens to continue to erode the fabric of American society in ways that hurt all of us.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s racial equity anchors released a statement on Ferguson. They stand in solidarity and awe of young activists fighting for justice.