The verdict in this trial unleashes a torrent of emotions: Relief that the tragedy of George Floyd’s killing will be met with justice. Outrage about ongoing violence against Black people and other communities of color that has resulted in a public health epidemic of stolen lives, shattered families and divided communities. Resolve to achieve racial equity for all.
This verdict strengthens the American Heart Association’s commitment to work toward health equity for all. Our work to create an equitable society must continue relentlessly, fueled by the sobering reality that structural racism in its many forms puts the health of Black people in America at risk.
Our efforts to improve heart and brain health for all make it necessary to address structural racism and its ripple effects on the daily lives of Black Americans and other communities of color. We encourage physical activity, but Ahmaud Arbery was murdered while jogging. We extoll the importance of sleep, yet Breonna Taylor was in her bed when the police raided her home. We emphasize healthy eating, but millions of low-income Americans live in food deserts without access to nutritious meals.
The science is indisputable: Cardiovascular health and overall well-being are threatened by structural racism and other systemic factors, including exposure to ongoing stress and trauma, access to medical care and housing, and level of income and education.
As an organization focused on the relentless pursuit of longer, healthier lives for everyone everywhere, we will continue to spotlight scientific evidence showing that structural racism contributes to the disproportionate risk for cardiovascular disease in Black, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino people in America. We remain committed to investing in targeted initiatives aimed at achieving health equity for all communities – urban, suburban and rural.
We invite all who share these values to support our work and engage us in their efforts to create a just and equitable society.