MI NAACP declare racism a public health pandemic

Jun 23, 2020

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On Juneteenth, a historic day marked as the day the abolition of slavery spread across the state of Texas, Pamela Pugh, Health Chair of the Michigan State Conference of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is demanding a policy and structural change to address inequities affecting Black people in the state. 

“In Michigan rates of Blacks are four times (than) that of Whites. Black infants are three to four times more likely than white infants during their first year of life, African American children in Michigan are over 70% more likely to live in high poverty areas where schools lack the resources to meet the needs of all children. African Americans are incarcerated at a rate almost six times greater than that of whites.” 

Angela Waters from Black Lives Matter of Michigan says Juneteenth marks the beginning of the kind of transformation the state needs to ensure Black people can thrive. 

“This is a time for completely deconstructing, dismantling and rebuilding systems that produce equitable results and repair the harm not just over the past decades but over the past 401 years.” 

The movement to declare racism a public health pandemic began nearly one month ago after the President of the American Psychological Association, Sandra Shullman, hosted a conversation to discuss the “racist pandemic” devastating the nation.