The tragic loss of lives – those of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and before that, the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and countless more – once again highlights the deep vein of racial injustice that runs through our nation’s institutions. As global health professionals, we know just how closely race and health outcomes and disparities are linked. COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated the long unacknowledged racial injustices in our economic and health systems. The bald fact that predominantly black versus white counties have infection rates more than 3-fold higher and death rates 6-fold higher is appalling. And we know this is the tip of the iceberg – the full list of race-related health inequalities is only beginning to be identified due to the low priority accorded to collecting race-disaggregated data.
The health community has a critical role to play in shaping a more just and equitable future. WomenLift Health’s vision is a world where diverse, accomplished leaders collectively transform global health outcomes. This is unachievable when Black voices are excluded from the conversation and decision-making tables, let alone being extinguished. It is important now more than ever to reiterate that all of us at WomenLift Health are unequivocally committed to actions & choices that reflect these values – from the voices we amplify on our platform to the design of the Leadership Journey. We will work hard to stay true to our mission of diversity and inclusion in leadership, and to contextualize and raise awareness while always keeping intersectionality top of mind.
We intend to continue actively challenging ourselves to be better advocates for racial equality. We want to acknowledge the fear, uncertainty and pain we all may be feeling at this point and hope that this mobilization will lead to much-needed sustainable change.