Health & Medicine Honors Juneteenth - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Health & Medicine Honors Juneteenth

June 17, 2021

“You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X, Human Rights Activist and Minister

On June 19, 2021, Health & Medicine will be honoring Juneteenth, a day regarded as the oldest national celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

This is our fourth year observing this important holiday, and we are glad to join other groups and communities in recognizing the inequities and deep harm of the past and present, dedicating ourselves to rectifying historical injustices, and supporting an equitable future where all Black Americans can thrive. We’re so pleased to see that as of today, the State has made Juneteenth a holiday.

Since the last Juneteenth, we have marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. We have marked the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and so many, many anniversaries in between, marking racial injustice, brutality, and murder in a land that is still so unsafe and unjust to so many.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the systemic racism that affects the health and well-being of Black and Brown Americans, reducing life spans and causing stark health divides. Systemic racism crosses many systems from policing to education to health care—it is long past time we address these to create the society we want for ourselves, for our neighbors and our children.

At Health & Medicine, we demand our nation do better, not only in the public health sector but in every street, on every block, in every town, and in every interaction. We speak collectively when we say we are outraged, and that small victories are not enough. We, the staff and board of Health & Medicine, honor this day as a time to remember past injustice, to reflect on the present reality, and to act to create an equitable future.

Honoring this day is an important part of recognizing the role our history plays in shaping public health and health equity. If you share our commitment to health equity, please join us in celebrating Juneteenth. We’re pleased to share the following resources: