June 4, 2020

Racism is a public health issue that needs our attention now

The O'Brien Institute for Public Health statement on racism

The O’Brien Institute for Public Health joins as an ally with other voices to state that structural reforms are required to dismantle anti-Black racist oppressions. Events in the United States, ongoing issues related to race, ethnicity and indigenous status here in Alberta and in Canada, and the differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on structurally disadvantaged populations, call for a commitment for change.

We are 1000 members and affiliates strong and as a collective we stand for social justice and equity, and for better health and healthcare—for all.  We have the means and desire to contribute to progressive, inclusive, and effective action through our work with diverse partners over a broad range of communities, and with stakeholders and decision-makers in a variety of sectors including health, housing, education, criminal justice, and social services. 

As citizens, we need to listen, learn and act more inclusively. As a research institute, we need to do the internal work of weaving equity into all our organizational practices. As a group of researchers and knowledge users, we need to foster research and knowledge translation that facilitates structural reforms. Now, tomorrow and the days after tomorrow, we need to do the hard work of addressing racism as the public health issue it is.

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Available resources 

To those of you that are feeling overwhelmed in this moment, the University of Calgary has resources available to help studentsfaculty and staff.

The Cumming School of Medicine has a repository of resources on racism, privilege and inequity. Access them here