The Department of Public Health Education condemns racism and its rotten fruits further illustrated by the recent murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN and the countless number of Black lives taken by police brutality, white supremacy, and bigotry, past and present: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Marcus Deon Smith, and the list goes on.
These assaults on Black lives come as we face the inequitable burden of the COVID19 pandemic on Black and Brown communities, another example of the poison sprouted from systematic racism over centuries. We affirm social justice is a public health priority and that understanding and exposing the ways social structures impact health and well-being is a critical part of our field.
Together as a department we will continue to adhere to the ethical and professional mandates of the Society for Public Health Education and of the American Public Health Association which recognize racism as a serious public health crisis. Racism causes harm across all levels of society from individual behaviors to oppressive and unjust systems. Racism is lethal for individuals, communities, and our nation as a whole.
We know that community action is powerful and that transformation is possible. We share our commitment to promote equity and dismantle racism, engage collaboratively and compassionately within and beyond our UNCG community, and work towards lasting and socially-just change. In order to dismantle racism, we must understand where it lies within structures and communities, which starts with a commitment to studying and strategizing towards racial equity. We stand in solidarity with our students, colleagues, community partners, and all who are affected because of the suffering caused by these preventable deaths.
We know actions must follow our words. The faculty and staff in Department of Public Health Education pledge the following: