As a small business that creates space for physical and mental wellness, the health of our communities is of deep concern to us. We declare that racism is a public health crisis, and we are committed to doing our part to dismantle it. By definition, a public health crisis is something that impedes a person’s ability to live a healthy life and we believe that racism certainly falls in that category.
People of color are more likely to experience lower-quality healthcare, have less access to resources and experience prejudice within the healthcare system. In the case of the current pandemic, Black Americans are on average two times as likely to die of COVID-19 than the general population. In fact, it’s impossible to separate anti-Black racism from the current COVID-19 pandemic- Black patients are less likely to receive a COVID-19 test if they need it and in most states COVID-19 disproportionately affects Black Americans compared to whites.
BIPOC communities are also suffering from chronic stress due to daily personal and professional prejudices. Chronic stress can lead to inflammation causing a whole host of health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. As more and more studies are published that provide evidence that anti-Black racism negatively impacts physical, emotional, and mental health, many cities (including Indianapolis) are passing ordinances declaring racism a public health crisis. These ordinances are not just symbolic- advocates say they could lead to legislation that would allocate resources in public health research and education that acknowledges, documents, and addresses the adverse health outcomes associated with systemic racial injustice.
Please share this post, read up about health disparities in your community & if you live outside Marion County in Indianapolis, check to see if your city or county has passed a resolution or ordinance and work with City Council to pass one. You can see the growing list here: https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/health-equity/racism-and-health/racism-declarations