Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Dear Partners,

In response to the recent unjust killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade, we affirm statements made by the American Public Health Association and Wisconsin Public Health Association calling police violence and racism critical public health crises. We agree with the APHA and WPHA statements that “racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now.” Racism has a profound impact on the health of Black and Brown women, infants and families in Wisconsin. We continue to see persistently high rates of maternal and infant mortalities for Black communities. Most recently we have witnessed the effect of racism through the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately impacted communities of color. Therefore, on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center (UWPRC), we have co-signed the WPHA declaration signaling our strong commitment to take action against racism.

As public health leaders in maternal and child health, we are taking this moment to reflect on how the UWPRC can further address racism in the work we do. We are committed to listening and learning, and we pledge to engage our center’s leadership and members in efforts to affect change through community-engaged research. We encourage everyone to listen to and uplift the voices of Black and Brown communities to end racist policies.

Stay well,

Deborah Ehrenthal, UWPRC Director
Kate Gillespie, UWPRC Deputy Director

We also want to share resources that you may find helpful. We welcome suggestions for additions to this list of resources.
WPHA Racial Equity Resources
American Public Health Association Racism and Health Resources
American Public Health Association Advancing Racial Equity Webinar Series
Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture resources on anti-racism
Understand how structural racism is showing up during COVID-19
UW-Madison Faculty and Staff Diversity and Inclusion Resources
Anti-racism resources for white people
75 things white people can do for racial justice
Opportunities for white people in the fight for racial justice
AISP Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Throughout Data Integration