The right to health is among the most fundamental of human rights. Institutionalized racism and police brutality threaten the physical and mental health of black and brown people today, as they have for centuries. The racial disparities that mark the advancement of COVID-19 across this country, and that mark virtually every health measure, are a manifestation of this systemic racism. Until we undo the myriad systems that continue to oppress people of color, any real justice, including health justice, will remain elusive. Together, we stand against police brutality that continues to take the lives of black people. This is a long-standing public health crisis that demands immediate action.
Change will not come easily, but it must come. We all have a role to play. Florida Health Justice Project commits to expanding and centering the voices of people of color in our own work, on our teams, and in our partnerships. We further commit to centering racial justice as fundamental to health justice.
We call on our local, state, and national leaders to listen to the anger and frustration of those who are protesting, and in turn, to take bold steps to recognize, to call out, and to dismantle systems of racial oppression. This begins with ending state-sanctioned violence against Blacks. Further, if health equity is to be achieved, and the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Black Floridians are to be avoided, Florida legislators must expand Medicaid.