The unjustified deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others impact our community, colleagues, friends, and families. The wounds created by these deaths are raw and real and while we cannot heal them, we can stand in solidarity for racial justice and advocate for change.
The UCHC team is made of individuals from various backgrounds and experiences and we stand together with our patients and community members against the deliberate acts of violence against the Black community. During these unsettling times, we will continue to listen, learn and support our community. It is not enough to be quietly non-racist; we must become vocal anti-racist. We must use our voices in a positive manner to create change.
We, as UCHC, remain committed to achieving racial equality and justice and do not tolerate racism or any form of discrimination. Our mission has always been to provide quality care for everyone in the community. UCHC has been fighting for justice and equity through healthcare for decades.
We, as UCHC, remain committed during these challenging times to provide a safe environment to grieve the recent racial violence and the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our community.
UCHC stands by the Statement on Racial Injustice from the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers:
The events of the past week highlighted for all the structural inequities and racism that community health centers have long sought to address. We who have committed ourselves to working with marginalized communities must recognize we have a long way to go.
Our very origins are rooted in the Civil Rights Movement when health center founders Jack Geiger, MD, Count Gibson, MD and John Hatch, PhD championed opportunities for community members to advance educational skills, create meaningful jobs, develop businesses, and promote self-determination in the face of economic and social injustice. We must redouble our efforts.
In the words of Dr. Geiger, “A community health center can serve as an agent of social change, intervening not only in the social determinants of its population’s health but also launching a process of structural change that starts to liberate that population through community empowerment from repetitive cycles of poverty and political exclusion.”
We must help and heal the communities we serve. We must loudly call out racial injustice and discrimination when we encounter it, whether personally or professionally. We must rededicate ourselves to championing the policies and programs that will create the safe, inclusive, healthy communities we all deserve.