We are outraged and heartbroken that the life of George Floyd and many other Black Americans have been cut short by racially-motivated violence and disregard for basic human rights. As a community-based nonprofit organization, we stand with those seeking justice for the centuries of systemic inequities across our nation. As an organization promoting health and wellness, we know that racial justice comes in many forms, and it is incumbent upon all of us to stand with our brothers and sisters of color no matter what sector we work in or what color our skin.
At Wellness Foundation, we strive to erase the many inequalities that exist when it comes to health. Black Americans, as well as Native Americans and Latinos, suffer disproportionately from preventable chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and obesity. We know that these underlying health conditions have led to worse outcomes for those that contract COVID-19, and they also have contributed to decreased economic opportunity and shorter lifespans. Black children also suffer from greater rates of asthma, diabetes, obesity, and depression than white children. There are many factors contributing to these inequities including access to fresh food, safe spaces to play and exercise, programs to promote healthy lifestyle, and access to healthcare, and these challenges are typically rooted in systemic racism and poverty.
Wellness Foundation joins the many other voices in committing to change. We must do our part to help Americans of color have access to the resources and information they need to lead healthier, happier lives. Specifically,
- We pledge to investigate our own privilege as a predominantly white staff and continue to listen and learn how best we can further embed racial equity into our work.
- We commit to bringing greater racial diversity into our Board room, staff and partner organizations.
- Raising awareness about preventing and reversing chronic disease is part of our mission, but we pledge to use our megaphone to raise awareness about the disparities that exist and the systemic racism that contributes to poor health.
- Lastly, while our children's programs work with a really diverse group of children and families, our adult programs have not attracted a diverse clientele. We pledge to increase access and diversity of those programs.
We grieve with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the many other Black Americans who have been killed because of the color of their skin. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done so that Black Americans enjoy the same opportunities, access, safety, and health outcomes, and we are committed to standing in solidarity with the Black community and others so that meaningful change occurs.
President and CEO