Colorado to Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis
This is a decision that health department employees have wanted in response to ongoing social justice protests and now the state of Colorado will declare racism as a public health crisis according to The Denver Post.
The push to make this happen has been on since last month and some staffers have become frustrated that this decision has taken so long. But the decision was finally made by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director, Jill Hunsaker Ryan. When announcing the decision she said that the state will work with the American Public Health Association to come up with a formal policy within the health department.
There are two goals as of now which are to increase diversity in the department's workforce, which is 78% white, and to make it simple for local organizations to provide services to people of color to partner with the agency.
Before this declaration, the department had only posted an open letter on their website calling racism "a persistent and critical health crisis". If you want to read that letter you can do so by clicking here.
One employee at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the hope after declaring racism a public health crisis is that more resources will be used to address the inequality within the state of Colorado.
Jill Hunsaker Ryan also mentioned that this declaration would have come sooner except most resources right now are being used to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the early changes expected to take place include a review of hiring practices to diversify its workplace as well as training for leadership and employees on anti-bias and how to be an ally.
How do you feel about Colorado declaring racism a public health crisis?