Statement on Recent Events in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Racism has everything to do with health, and everything to do with our work at the Foundation. We said this following George Floyd’s death earlier this summer, and today, we give the same resounding response to the recent racially-driven violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin – because we must keep bending the arc toward justice.
Last Sunday, in Kenosha, a police officer shot a Black father seven times in his back at close-range, in front of his three young children. His name is Jacob Blake, and he remains in critical condition. A few days into nightly protests following this deliberate use of excessive force, an armed, White civilian fired into the crowd, killing two protestors and injuring one. He was arrested peacefully.
These public displays of racial injustice are not isolated, nor are they uncommon. Rather, they are indicative of our country’s inequitable systems and widely ignored social norms which lead to avoidable differences in health status.
Events such as these have everything to do with our work, because racism and health are inextricably linked. People are sick, injured and dying simply due to discrimination based on the color of their skin – and it’s happening in Colorado, too.
Just as racism exists at the core of this country’s founding, racial equity must exist at the core of our work to bring health in reach for all Coloradans.
Black lives matter.