Health Equity Council Statement on Racism

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors is committed to the principles of health equity and to creating just and fair opportunities for people to live longer, healthier lives free from disease. NACDD reinforced that commitment 15 years ago by creating the Health Equity Council (HEC). The council’s primary function and purpose is to work with states to identify needs and create tools and resources to help them move toward health equity. Over the years, the council has worked with states to come up with several comprehensive approaches to help us all move toward health equity, but it didn’t take long to realize that no matter which social determinant we focused on, race and racism are the greatest predictors of health in our country. Therefore, we have worked steadily to counter the root causes of bias and institutional racism.  

Now is the time to have the uncomfortable conversations. Poor health outcomes for people of color are the result of powerful economic, educational, financial, and political policies and systems that were designed to create disadvantage for non-white members of society. We cannot ignore the fact that these forces also give license to some to commit violent acts against people of color under the pretense law of enforcement.

Until we begin to value human life equally and collectively, and to develop ways to change these policies, we will continue to discuss the need for foundational change without action to follow. The members of the Health Equity Council are committed to action. We will continue to work to reduce and eliminate the inequities that negatively impact our health and our lives, but we need your help. Write to us or join us for our monthly general meeting so that we can create the action steps needed to effect real change for people of color and all the communities we serve.

We also would like it if you reviewed “Moving to Institutional Equity” a HEC tool designed to help states review, identify, and dismantle when needed, policies and procedures that may perpetuate institutional racism.

We can succeed when we work together to make change at the national, state, and local levels.