AzPHA Board of Director’s Statement

June 1, 2020

For decades, public health research has recognized racism and discrimination (or systemic violence) as fundamental causes of health disparities and inequities. It is time to move beyond silence, guilt, denial, and shock and accept our individual and collective roles in acting to demolish these centuries old systems of oppression.

As leaders in public health, we accept our responsibility in dismantling the systems of oppression that have long afforded many of us privilege and comfort. AzPHA is committed to working with our board and membership to integrate anti-racist education and actionable strategies for eliminating racism in order to realize health equity. In alignment with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and APHA’s call for racial healing, we commit to intentionally engaging people from all racial and ethnic groups in order to build understanding, communication, compassion, and respect for one another.

Recognizing that complacency upholds the status quo, we have work to do. The drivers of structural inequality and race-based violence are not “out there,” or “with them,” they are baked into our own workplaces, associations, neighborhoods, families, and minds. And it’s our responsibility and our obligation as public servants to hold a light to injustice and to confront our biases.

As Arizona’s independent voice for public health, we commit to being accountable to our members and all Arizonans for confronting the myriad ways racism persists in public health and health care.