Statement on Racism and IVP
The recent abhorrent acts of violence that took the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and Ahmaud Arbery have been a catalyst for public attention and calls for action to end the injustices and losses suffered among Black and brown communities across generations. These violent acts have dramatically increased our sense of urgency in the injury & violence prevention (IVP) community to take an active stand and speak out against structural racism. We acknowledge that racism is a systemic public health crisis that has plagued people of color for decades. We commit ourselves more intentionally to learning about and working towards health equity and social justice in our society as they relate to our field and beyond.
We as researchers of injury & violence prevention have long recognized that structural racism has led to racial disparity for every type of violence. Racism not only contributes to generational trauma, but also when experienced in childhood, can negatively influence health throughout a lifetime. Black communities have long suffered from an overwhelmingly disproportionate burden of violence of all forms, causing psychological trauma, disability, and early death.
We also recognize that Black communities living in small cities and rural areas experience these same disparities, and the consequences may be further exacerbated by the lack of diversity in these communities and isolation from community support.
As a center, we commit to creating a culture that reflects our values of equity and inclusion, advocating for change that reduces health disparities, and advancing research that informs interdisciplinary approaches to reduce structural racism and its outcomes related to traumatic injury and violence. This summer and fall during strategic planning we will review our goals and activities to come up with specific action items. We will share these action items with community leaders to ensure transparency and remain dedicated to making impactful change. We acknowledge that we are still learning and will continue to seek input as we have more conversations about structural racism and IVP and work collaboratively towards effective solutions to this deeply rooted systemic crisis.