Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020
To our Colorado and national communities, we grieve for you and with you. At Immunize Colorado, we know that we cannot realize our commitment to improving public health and access to health care for all without first acknowledging that race is a key factor in determining health outcomes, with people of color significantly more likely to experience shorter life spans, increased rates of preventable diseases and a myriad of other chronic and urgent health conditions. Racism—including and especially violence against Black lives—is not just a public health issue but undeniably a public health crisis. It is a crisis that manifests in both the disparate burden that COVID-19 has had on communities of color and in the protests against police brutality and systemic racism happening across our country.
As defenders of public health—long known to be one of the best and most effective tools in advancing health equity—it is our responsibility to actively work to decrease health disparities. This starts first and foremost with equitable access to lifesaving vaccinations, including to a future COVID-19 vaccine. To achieve this goal, now is the time to expand efforts to ensure all communities—particularly communities of color and families living in low-income households—are provided with safe, effective preventive health care. We will continue to build and participate in programs and fight for policies that tear down barriers to the basic human right of equitable health care in Colorado and beyond, and we commit to standing with advocates and justice leaders in this work. As a public health community, we can and must be part of the solution in Colorado, the U.S. and beyond.
We have compiled the following list as part of our commitment to amplifying the voices and platforms of other organizations similarly dedicated to advancing health equity and urge you to learn more and get involved in their work:
Center for African American Health
Colorado Black Health Collaborative
Colorado Council of Black Nurses
Inner City Health
Colorado Center on Law and Policy
Arts & Wellness
Colorado Children’s Healthcare Access Program
Center for Health Progress