At the Healthy Gorge Initiative, we stand to voice our solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all people of color and we demand justice for people who have been brutalized by the systems that harm, silence, and oppress them. Two global pandemics are raging right now: racism and coronavirus. These two pandemics feed off inequities in our collective systems and it is undeniable that racism is a fundamental factor in preventing too many community members of color from leading healthy lives.
The time is long past due for words of solidarity. We must act in solidarity. This means instead of hoping that equity will be the result of our work, we must make it the core “design principle” of our work. We must make equity the practice of individuals, organizations, and thus ‘systems.’
At the Healthy Gorge Initiative, we will continue to support collaborative efforts to create healthy communities by providing assistance with grantwriting, data learning, research, and communications. Therefore, in order to make equity a core design principle in both our own work and in the organizations we work with, HGI will require organizations who seek our support to actively review and address racial inequities within their own organizations.
We are guided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s definition of health equity which is: creating the conditions in which everyone – no matter what their background, heritage, socioeconomic status, or current state of well-being – has an equal opportunity to live longer, healthier lives.
In the coming days, weeks, and months, the Healthy Gorge Initiative will do everything in our power to dismantle the systemic racism that creates so many barriers to health; focusing our efforts on designing practices, policies, and systems that offer equitable opportunities for everyone to pursue a healthier life.
~ Paul Lindberg