The past week has been a dark one for our country, as frustrations over inequality and injustice have boiled over into the streets of our neighborhoods. We are reminded once again that systemic racism continues to run rampant throughout American society – threatening the lives of Black Americans and communities of color.

We know that racism and bias continue to permeate every aspect and system of our society – in access to health care, employment, housing, education and more. At Nurse-Family Partnership, we see the detrimental and life-threatening impacts that structural racism has on the women in our program. When Black women are three times more likely to die in our country from pregnancy-related causes than white women, there is a real and urgent problem. This is a matter of public health. It is also a matter of equity and justice.

We hear from women who confront racism and implicit bias every day as they try to navigate the health care system to get the care that they and their families need. We hear from women who feel unseen and ignored by a system that should be listening and caring for them. Women, like Jessica, who nearly lost their lives from preventable causes because their voices were not heard.

We strive to support women in advocating for themselves and their families – but to meaningfully address the tremendous disparities that persist, we need systemic solutions. We must engage in respectful conversation, listen, and support one another – and we need to act. We can implement solutions that combat the inequities in our society and need to do so with a sense of urgency.

Nurse-Family Partnership stands with all Black people and communities of color. Those whose health, lives and livelihoods are threatened by bias, discrimination and systemic racism. We will continue amplifying the voices and experiences of Black families and communities of color, and we are with you in the fight for justice and equality. We are committed to promoting health equity and eliminating disparities to improve outcomes for the moms and babies we serve now and beyond.

We know we can do better, and as a country and society, we must all do better. The future of our families, communities, and country depend on the actions we take today. It’s on all of us.

15 responses to “A Statement from Nurse-Family Partnership

  1. As an African American daughter, sister to five black men, mother to a black man, grandmother, and NFP nurse, in gratitude I would like to thank you for not being silent. I would like to Thank You for calling out the Systemic Racism in our Country and your commitment to fight injustice, inequality and health disparities not only for our moms but in this Country. I am glad that the NFP is in this fight with myself and millions of others. This is another reason why I am honored to say I am an NFP nurse.

  2. Thank you for validating this obstacle we have to overcome so many times as we serve our clients in underserved communities. I personally never faint because I know that as a nurse home visitor I may be the only bridge to survival and hope for that ignored voice.

  3. Thank you for this statement. I’m proud to work for an organization that seeks to empower black families & to promote health & equality for our communities of color.

  4. Thank you for this. It is fulfilling to see NFP can empathize with what minority communities experience even though they may not have experienced it themselves. Thanks for trying to understand the frustration that blacks and others experience continually in this country.

  5. Thank you for writing this, I am proud to belong to an organization that supports all women and their families!

  6. Thank you for speaking up and taking a stand. Enough is enough. In our work, we know that so much has not changed for many and all of us must speak up to end the inequality!

  7. Thank you so much for those words and recognizing that this is a major issue our communities. I think ongoing cultural competence trainings and/or webinars should be required for NFP Staff to both educate and encouraged re-evaluation of implicit biases. Whether it be regarding black culture or even deaf culture. It’s disheartening at times to see that even the people seemingly dedicated to serving and advocating for low-income families can shift from support to judgement so quickly. I myself have noticed it with coworkers and supervisors. But I am also encouraged by seeing others work hard to educate themselves and do better.

  8. Thank you for that statement. As a black mother and grandmother with a son and son in law who are professional black men, I worry about their safety and pray for them every day. As a grandmother of a grandson, I wonder about what kind of world will he grow up in the future and whether his mother, my daughter, will have the same concerns for her son that I have for my son and son in law. These last few months have brought about memories of growing up in south Jersey that I have tried to not think about. Memories of having a cross burned on our front lawn, only being allowed to go to the dentist on Wednesday afternoon when that time was allotted for “colored ” people to come to the dentist or being made to sit in the balcony when going to the movies. I pray that my son and son in law keep safe and my daughter does not have the same concerns for her son, my grandson.

  9. Thank you for addressing the inequities and injustices that are in the forefront of our country’s landscape. I would love to see NFP add more content that examines these topics within our Nurse Community. Now is the time for all of us to discuss how we can do better for our families, communities and country.

  10. Thank you NFP for showing support for this ongoing societal issue. As a Nurse Manager who oversees our NFP program in southern California, and as an African American woman, I know first hand the realities of this issue. I hope that as NFP recognizes this fight, I hope too that you will continue to look within your organization such as in regards to your hiring practices and just overall communication of the program (which I do think NFP does a good job of showing diversity and inclusion in its materials) to ensure the needs of diverse families can be achieved equitably.

  11. Thank you for affirming the unwavering belief in the right of all women of color and their babies to receive the highest quality of healthcare throughout their lives, but especially during pregnancy and the postpartum. I am confident and proud to say that I echo the beliefs of every NFP nurse home visitor.

  12. Thank you for this statement. These are not merely words to live by but actions to live by. Thank you!
    Laura Crooks, CEO Yakima Childrens Village

  13. As an NFP nurse, could we have a unified tagline to add to our email signatures, maybe even our business cards to be clear to clients and potential clients of color that we stand with them? Something like “Systemic Racism is a Public Health Issue.”?

  14. I too would like to say how much I appreciate the stance that NFP has taken for Black lives Matter. It is not hard for me to imagine one of the most recent victims of police brutality being my sons, grandsons, nephew etc.
    I am very impressed at how quickly the NSO
    responded to our crisis as well as your commitment to the cause.

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