The news this week is incredibly difficult. The killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis and the story of a white woman calling the police to claim that an African American man was threatening her life in a dispute about leashing her dog are potent reminders that white supremacy and systemic racism continue to fuel harmful and violent acts that jeopardize the lives and well-being of people of color in our communities every day.
Of course, the only people who need to be “reminded” of this are those who benefit from the white privilege that makes it possible not to see the race-based macro- and micro-aggressions happening all around us every day until – as was the case this week – an event occurs that garners significant media coverage or “goes viral” on social media. People of color who are routinely confronted with these behaviors and threats in their lives certainly do not need to be reminded that we have so much more work to do as a community and a country.
It is imperative that we all work actively to become anti-racist – as individuals, institutions, and as a society. At Fenway Health, we continue to work to deepen our understanding of the compounding impacts that white supremacy and racism have on the health and well-being of LGBTQIA+ people and the neighborhoods we serve. We are committed to centering racial equity and other intersectional considerations into our work and our organizational policies and culture.
Maya Angelou urged us to “Pick up the battle and make it a better world just where you are.” “It can be better and it must be better, but it’s up to us,” she said. As an organization that was built to serve people who have experienced hate and discrimination, we could not agree more. We welcome and thank everyone in our community who chooses to join us on this journey.
Fenway Health CEO