In Good Health

The Colorado Health Foundation’s blog is designed to share perspectives, personal stories and what we are learning in our efforts to ensure that, across Colorado, each of us can say: “We have all we need to live healthy lives.”

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Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a win for health and health equity, and for millions of Americans who need access to reproductive health services. Restrictions to reproductive health care and family planning services create unnecessary barriers to health – especially for communities of color, people living on low income and those who live in hard-to-reach rural and urban areas.

Access to affordable and high-quality reproductive health care, contraception and family planning services empowers individuals and couples to make informed decisions on when, how and if to start a family. It opens up opportunities for Coloradans to continue their education, further their careers and do more of what they and their families need to live healthy lives.

At The Colorado

As we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic, a more pervasive pandemic continues to intensify – racial injustice. Recent civic demonstrations are shining a light on age-old racism, oppression and discrimination against the Black community that predate our country’s founding.

The moment we’re in as a country must become a movement to transform and dismantle the racist structures, systems and narratives that disadvantage Black communities. A future of promise in America, and in Colorado, depends on our ability to address and upend racist policies, practices and behaviors, so that all people – including our Black family, friends and neighbors – have access to the opportunities White folks have long enjoyed.

The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) recently shared

We recently held an all-staff meeting at which every employee was asked to read aloud a letter they’d prepared about the personal impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. What follows is a portion of the letter I wrote and shared with staff – a deeply personal reflection:

As a Black Southern woman, I always have to manage that core, “forever” identity with my temporary identity as president and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation. I can’t separate the two and wouldn’t want to – that intersection is where my authenticity lies. However, the pandemic has come into that carefully constructed and maintained balance like a tornado. 

On a day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute basis – on a cellular level – I struggle

Juneteenth, a holiday that has long been celebrated in the Black community, is a tribute to the day in 1865 when African Americans in Texas learned that they were free – two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed freeing all slaves in the U.S.

This year’s celebration comes at a moment of deep reckoning in our nation, as communities across the country grapple with the continued legacy of institutional and systemic racism. As we observe Juneteenth, and recognize the significance racism plays in our own history and current realties, it’s important to leverage the power of this day through story.

Here are reflections from some of our staff members:

Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO:

Full quote from Karen Mc-Neil Miller

“Juneteenth is