The Health Federation of Philadelphia stands with those who are horrified by the callous murder of George Floyd at the hands of sworn police officers as the latest instance of physical, rhetorical, and structural brutality that has been burned into our national psyche. We stand with those who fight for social and racial justice. We strive to recognize our collective shortcomings and address inequity with intention and humility. In our corner of the world, we try to lift up community assets, build resources and prop open doors to opportunity and change. We believe in activism and in nonviolence as the path to reconciliation. We recognize that this is a path that demands continuous reflection, inclusion and growth.
We stand with Terrance Floyd, George’s brother, as he wisely calls for peace and calls for change: “Let’s do this another way. Let’s stop thinking that our voice don’t matter and vote. Educate yourself and know who you vote for. That’s how you’re going to get it. It’s a lot of us,” he said. “Do this peacefully.”
As a public health organization, we cannot address health disparities without acknowledging racism and contributing to the redress of economic, educational, and social disparities that underlie and compound health inequity. We must craft and advocate and, yes, vote in support of policies that address the pressing needs and real priorities of the people of this country. We can do better and we can be better but that will require us to do it with eyes and hearts wide open. We cannot look away, not now and not ever.