Clara Mass Medical Center Reports
New Brunswick & Newark, NJ – In recognition of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and 402 years of racism in the country, RWJBarnabas Health and the Rutgers School of Public Health join others around the nation to declare that racism is a public health crisis and that Black Lives Matter.
In an effort to ensure a more equitable and just world for Black and brown people, the two organizations developed a call to action in the form of a pledge, which has been adopted by groups that include academia, government, business, and community‐based organizations.
Racism hurts the health of communities by depriving people of the opportunity to attain their highest level of health. It is the fundamental cause of health disparities that are inextricably tied with poverty, inadequate housing, under-resourced and thus, underperforming schools, police brutality, mass incarceration, food deserts, food swamps, unemployment or underemployment, wage disparity, stress, poor access to health care, and violence, all of which are substantial barriers to health equity.
“In order to achieve health equity, eliminate health care disparities, and create more vital communities, we must identify and address racial injustices,” says Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health. “We must fearlessly commit to listening, confronting policies, systems, and structures that perpetuate and uphold racism, and holding conversations that lead to actionable change.”