The turmoil of the past week has once again brought into focus the heart-wrenching and infuriating level of systemic racism that continues to exist in the United States. ACU’s mission, to improve the health of America’s underserved populations and to enhance the development and support of the health care clinicians serving these populations, means we are committed as an organization to fight for equity, in health, and in all other ways that impact the underserved in our nation. We do this work because we believe whole-heartedly in lifting people up, treating every person with dignity and recognizing our shared humanity. That said, we cannot remain silent in response to the despicable murder of George Floyd and countless others whose lives were taken simply because of the color of their skin. We say ENOUGH. ACU stands with the black community and commits to taking steps to change the broken systems that perpetuate racism and inequity in this nation.
As providers, clinicians, and caretakers for the underserved, we are all far too familiar with the reality of the health disparities that exist for people of color in this country. As the safety net for all those in need, it is our collective responsibility to treat every patient with dignity, to provide quality health care to all and to constantly work to improve health outcomes.
As clinicians and advocates for the underserved, our awareness of the reality of health disparities and the role that all social determinants of health play in propagating underserved communities has indeed been longstanding and has been a driver in our work. However, what recent events make clear is the need to do more.
Now more than ever, our collective work must include clear steps to elevate the cause and critical message of Black Lives Matter – to create a world where every black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive. As a start, ACU is committed to offering culturally sensitive training to our network to enable greater understanding, support and action steps organizations and providers can take to serve as an ally to the black community. Internally, our staff is committed to learn more, to engage and challenge ourselves to do better, to acknowledge failures and take action to improve as change makers to ensure a better and more equitable future free of racism.
As health care providers, we do this by practicing cultural humility, developing inclusive policies within our organizations to advance people of color into leadership roles, and by understanding policies that oppress people of color and advocating for better, more equitable, policies. ACU is dedicated to working tirelessly to achieve true health equity in America, to recognize the humanity and value in each and every person and community we serve, and to do the work necessary to help end the systemic racism that has plagued this nation for far too long.
ACU stands with the Black community and all those allied with the fight for equality and justice, and we rededicate ourselves to our mission of caring for the underserved and creating a future free of racism. We are also here to support you in any way we can and to walk this challenging path arm in arm. We are humbled to stand with you today and always as we do the hard work of bringing real change in our communities.