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.