Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
Racism Declaration
Share |

Racism is a Public Health Crisis

In May 2018, the Wisconsin Public Health Association (WPHA) passed a resolution declaring that racism is a public health crisis in Wisconsin and committed to taking action.

This resolution acknowledges that racism causes persistent discrimination, is a social determinant of health and is linked to poor health outcomes. The public health community has a responsibility to acknowledge racism, advocate for equitable policies and inform the public discourse. This WPHA resolution directly reflects one of the priorities set at the 2017 Healthiest State Agenda Setting Convening, as part of the Wisconsin Healthiest State Initiative. Building on this work, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute's Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) Group and several partner organizations have worked together to transfer the WPHA resolution content to this Racism is a Public Health Crisis Sign-on so that organizations can commit to actions that are tailored to their specific contexts.

The WPHA is also intentionally working through an organizational assessment to understand the organization's capacity to be racially equitable. WPHA has signed a contract working with UBUNTU Research during this process. There are many various touchpoints, one of which is a survey of our membership (and non-members). .  This survey hopes to collect data that speaks to organizational capacity to create spaces of racial justice, healing and transformation -- uplifting racism as a public health crisis across WPHA.

For more information on organizations that have signed onto the Racism Declaration, please go to: https://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu/match/match-wisconsin-healthiest-state-initiative/racism-is-a-public-health-crisis-in-wisconsin/#current-list-of-organizational-signers.

In addition, if you are looking for more Racial Equity tools and resources, please view this page compiled by the Racial Equity Workgroup.


WPHA Press Release Wisconsin Public Health Association Calls for Unified Front Against Racism
July 2019

WPHA sent out a press release in July 2019 encouraging and challenging others to continue to confront racism and remember that our public health community has a responsibility to acknowledge racism, advocate for equitable policies and inform the public discourse. 

There is a current national conversation about what constitutes racism.  Since the civil rights movement, discourse has moved from debating whether or not discrimination and racism are “just”, to needing to prove that racism still exists in our society. While institutional racism and discriminatory policies do untold damage, words matter too. Exposure to racist speech is traumatic. National discourse that denies the presence of racism in our society is not helpful and dismantling racism need not be a partisan issue. American University scholar Ibram X. Kendi recently said “The denial of racism, the defensiveness about racism is essential to racism itself. It’s the heartbeat of racism.”

In healthcare we know that we cannot treat a condition that hasn’t been diagnosed; as a society, we cannot eliminate racism if we deny its existence- in whatever form it takes. The Wisconsin Public Health Association calls upon local, state and national leaders to acknowledge that racism is an ongoing problem in the United States; commit to calling for an end to racist language, practices and policies; listen to people who have experienced racism; and value and affirm the human rights of all people.

Please read WPHA's full press release here.


WPHA Members Featured During CoA Panel during APHA Annual Meeting

At the APHA Annual Meeting held in November 2018, we were pleased to have two members of our Racial Equity Workgroup, Lilliann Paine and Rachel Azanleko-Akouete, present progress within our Affiliate specific to Racial Equity and the process of creating the Racial Equity Workgroup to move towards passing the resolution - Racism is a Public Health Crisis. Lilliann and Rachel's presentation title was "Putting Racial Equity on the Agenda: Creation of the Racial Equity Worgkroup in the Wisconsin Public Health Association." Please find the presentation slides by clicking here.

Lilliann and Rachel were able to be on a panel organized by the Council on Affiliates, with the theme, "Affiliate Actions to Advance Health Equity." The panel included Affiliate presentations from New Hampshire, Ohio, Colorado, and Wisconsin. Thank you to Rachel and Lilliann for presenting just some of the work moving forward in Wisconsin and our Association!



 

Community Search
Sign In


Latest News
Events Calendar