The William Payne Lab is in partnership with Columbus Public Health to address racism as a public health crisis.
Resolution No. 20-10
WHEREAS, Columbus Public Health is committed to protect the health and improve the lives of all our residents and holds equity and fairness as core values; and WHEREAS, the foundations of racism were laid concurrently with the beginnings of the nation in 1619, when race-based chattel slavery was introduced to the first European settlements in North America – an evil institution that would endure 246 years, until the end of the Civil War in 1865; and WHEREAS, Jim Crow laws would replace the institution of slavery in the United States for the next 100 years as the legal jurisprudence of the nation, providing an enduring legal framework to justify state-sanctioned racism and discrimination against non-whites, in particular the descendants of African slaves; and WHEREAS, communities around the United States have had 54 years to address the aforementioned 346-year legacy of race-based laws and discrimination; and WHEREAS, on February 13, 2020, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther proclaimed racism a public health issue at the State of the City address, and charged the Health Commissioner and Columbus Public Health with drafting policies and issuing recommendations to improve the general health and well-being of Columbus; and WHEREAS, race is a social and political construct that has no biological basis; and WHEREAS, racism takes on multiple forms: individual racism, whereby an individual pre- judges or discriminates against another; institutional racism, where policies, practices and procedures are established that serve one population better than another, even if unintentional; and structural racism, which is the history and current reality of institutional racism across all institutions, combine to create a society that negatively impacts specific communities; and WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the disparities that have existed for 400 years – discriminatory practices that have negatively impacted the economic stability, physical environments, education, food stability and access, health care access and social cohesion of African Americans, which lead to excess mortality, morbidity, reduced life expectancy, diminished health statuses, and functional limitations to inhibit minority communities from realizing their full potential; and WHEREAS, the current pandemic has been one of the first instances where a fraction of the day-to-day realities of minorities have become the day-to-day reality of the country’s majority population around economic and health issues, creating a new awareness; and
WHEREAS, Columbus Public Health has a responsibility to address racism as it impacts the health of a large proportion of population; and WHEREAS, racial equity will exist when race can no longer be used to predict life outcomes and the outcomes for all groups are improved.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT BE RESOLVED:
The Columbus Board of Health and Columbus Public Health will:
ADOPTED: June 1, 2020
Mysheika W. Roberts, MD, MPH Secretary
Karen J. Morrison, JD, MS President Pro Tem