As our country experiences a pandemic that disproportionately affects Black people and other people of color, we are also coming to terms with another longstanding problem – that of discrimination and systemic racism.
We at the Chronic Disease Coalition have been devastated to see such unconscionable acts of violence and injustice. Much like the patient protections we fight for on a daily basis, racism is a systemic issue that must be addressed through policy reform, constructive dialogue, grassroots advocacy and action. We cannot be silent and overlook the disproportionate impact of chronic disease on Black people and other people of color, or ignore how that impact may in large part be a result of longstanding biases and discrimination, as well as unequal access within our health care system.
At its core, the CDC’s mission is to support those of us with chronic diseases and to help patients fight against discrimination wherever it is found. We stand with the advocates fighting for a more inclusive, equitable and safer future for Black Americans and other communities of color, and pledge to learn and reflect on our role in that work.
Together we can create change and combat the biases, racial injustice and discrimination that fosters inequality everywhere, including in our health care system. We want to make clear that we are listening, and we are working to elevate those whose voices have been silenced or ignored. We are also continuing the work we know well – organizing advocacy efforts to make a stronger case for progress, access and positive patient-driven solutions.
In building an inclusive community of support and advocacy, we are dedicated to making our actions be most impactful. We all have a role in the work ahead.
Executive Director of the Chronic Disease Coalition