Standing Up for Justice and Fighting Racism

Dr. Camara Jones, Immediate Past President of APHA, gives the afternoon keynote at MPHA’s 2016 Annual Meeting “Moving the Public Health Agenda #NoRacialJusticeNoPublicHealth” on November 16, 2016

Dear friend,

Last Wednesday was the MPHA Annual Meeting in Worcester where 450 advocates and defenders of social justice and public health joined together to learn practical skills to advance racial justice in our work. Speakers explained how racism is entrenched in the norms and practices of our society, which impact the social determinants of health like income and wealth, education, housing, and employment. 

This year’s annual meeting could not have been more timely nor our work together for health equity more critical. We have not and will not stand by if policies are pursued at the federal level that will further disadvantage low income communities and communities of color. Doing so would have a devastating effect on our state and our nation’s health.

Working together, side by side, here at the state and local level in Massachusetts, we have the power to change policies, influence values, and make a real impact in our communities. When successful, the policies we advance can become a model for other states and the rest of the nation. This is why I’m asking you to please stand with us for justice now and into the coming years. Speak out against racism wherever you see it. Intervene if you witness intimidation or harassment. Support your local nonprofits like MPHA and work in coalition with us to advance justice. 

Please visit MPHA’s Annual Meeting event page for resources on combating racism and promoting health equity and to find the presentations of Dean Sandro Galea and APHA Immediate Past President, Camara Jones. We urge you to use the toolkit of resources in your work and in your organizing efforts. We also encourage you to contact us for more information on our newly minted MPHA Health Equity Policy Framework that, along with our strategic plan, will guide MPHA’s policy setting into the future. 

Together let’s be vocal and organized, and more focused than ever for the work ahead.

On behalf of all of us at MPHA and in solidarity,  

Rebekah Gewirtz

Executive Director
Massachusetts Public Health Association

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