NACDD Commends DeKalb County for Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis


CONTACTPaige Rohe, 404-924-8295

ATLANTA (July 29, 2020) – The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) commends DeKalb County, Georgia, for issuing a resolution identifying racism as a public health crisis. The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors is headquartered in DeKalb County, and the Association has long sought to improve health equity and to reduce the burden of chronic disease at the state and territorial level.

To date, DeKalb County is the first in Georgia and one of 60 other local governments across the U.S. that have made similar declarations. This broadening acknowledgment is based in research and science that has proven time and again that systemic racism, socioeconomic deprivation, race-neutral legislation, and the intentional withholding of political power from the Black community and other communities of color are factors that deeply intertwine with the health and well-being of these groups.

The outcomes of these injustices are very apparent in the disproportionate illness, disability, and death communities of color bear from chronic disease as well as the severe burden of illness and death communities of color have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To truly improve lives and well-being for everyone, NACDD believes racism and racist violence must be tackled purposefully in all public health work. 

“We commend DeKalb County for its commitment to acknowledging racism as the root cause of so many social, economic, and health disparities in our own community, and we look forward to supporting the county further on its journey to becoming anti-racist,” said John W. Robitscher, MPH, CEO of NACDD.

Through its Health Equity Council, NACDD has long been involved in promoting social justice, providing training, tools, and resources to help State and Territorial Health Departments address systemic racism in their workplace and their programming.

In June, NACDD issued a call to action to State and Territorial Health Departments to engage in anti-racist activities. Following this statement, NACDD invested in action by announcing $25,000 mini-grants to select states to promote health equity and anti-racism work.

“We will keep strengthening our efforts to resource and inform our program work, and our own internal organizational approaches toward being anti-racist,” said Robitscher. “We look forward to continuing to offer our assistance to other organizations seeking to do the same.”

Learn more about NACDD’s anti-racism and health equity work on NACDD’s website,

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
Promoting Health. Preventing Disease. 

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and its more than 7,000 Members seek to strengthen state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states and nationally. Established in 1988, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NACDD is the only membership association of its kind to serve and represent every chronic disease division in all states and U.S. territories. For more information, visit

Careers at NACDD

You are exiting NACDD’s website to enter a third-party site