“The racial differences that we measure are the consequence of the centuries of policies, practices, and systems that have intentionally provided advantage to some while, simultaneously, intentionally subjecting others to disadvantage.”
~ Dr. Arthur James, Board of Health Member
Racism as a Public Health Crisis
Franklin County Board of Health Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis
2020 Declaration (for FCPH) Racism is a Public Health Crisis – May 9, 2020
Franklin County Board of Health Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis Press Release
With this declaration, Franklin County Board of Health commits to:
- Create an equity and justice-oriented organization, by identifying specific activities, policies and procedures to embrace diversity and to incorporate antiracism principles across the agency, leadership, staffing and contracting. This will include a plan to understand, address and dismantle racism, in order to undo how racism affects individual and population health and provide tools to engage actively and authentically with communities of color.
- Advocate for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color, and supports local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism.
- Work to build alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism and encourages other local, state, regional and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.
Additional Declarations of Racism as a Public Health Crisis
Franklin County Commissioners Declaration of Racism as a Public Health Crisis – May 19, 2020
The following organizations have declared racism as a public health crisis:
City of Columbus
Columbus Board of Health
Conscious Capitalism, Columbus Chapter
City of Upper Arlington
City of Westerville
City of Whitehall
CDC Director Declares Racism ‘a serious public health threat’
In a statement released earlier this month, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared racism a “serious public health threat” (Source: “CDC Director Declares Racism A 'Serious Public Health Threat',” National Public Radio, April 8).
In the statement, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that, “Racism is a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans. As a result, it affects the health of our entire nation. Racism is not just the discrimination against one group based on the color of their skin or their race or ethnicity, but the structural barriers that impact racial and ethnic groups differently to influence where a person lives, where they work, where their children play, and where they worship and gather in community. These social determinants of health have life-long negative effects on the mental and physical health of individuals in communities of color."
The CDC also launched a new web portal, Racism and Health, that's designed to be a hub for public and scientific information and discourse on the subject.
Declaration Media Coverage
The Columbus Dispatch, June 4, 2020 – Editorial: Voices rise to declare racism a public health crisis
CNN, May 21, 2020 – Officials in the largest county in Ohio say racism is a public health crisis
New York Daily News, May 20, 2020 – Officials in Ohio county declare racism a public health crisis
Spectrum News 1 Ohio, May 17, 2020 – Racism Deemed Public Health Crisis in Columbus
The Columbus Dispatch, May 14, 2020 – Franklin County Board of Health declares racism a public health crisis
News Radio 610 WTVN, May 14, 2020 – Franklin County Board of Health declares racism a public health crisis
WBNS-10TV, May 13, 2020 – Racism Declared Public Health Crisis in Franklin County
WSYX ABC 6, May 13, 2020 – Franklin County Board of Health declares racism a public health crisis
NBC4 WCMH-TV, May 13, 2020 – Franklin County Board of Health declares racism a public health crisis