Our Values Demand We Speak Up

Recently, we have seen horrifying anti-Black violence in the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Douglas McAtee. As public health professionals, we know these are only the latest in our nation’s long history of using violent means to end Black lives. We condemn law enforcement brutality of any kind and join our voices with those who are calling for meaningful reforms in policing.

We recognize that systemic racism manifests not only in the physical violence captured on camera, but the ongoing violence of denying Black communities equity in health care, housing, employment, education, environmental quality, and other resources needed to live full and healthy lives. Systemic racism drives racial inequities that impact every aspect of health, be it the acute catastrophe of COVID-19, violence, or deaths from all of the common chronic diseases.

As a department, we stand in solidarity with our Black communities, our students, staff and faculty. We share in your grief, heartbreak and anger. We see you and hear you. We encourage everyone to read an important resource prepared by the UC Davis Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Racial Trauma Resources.

Furthermore, we fully agree with our leadership from the Associated Schools and Programs of Public Health, that “achieving a more just world requires more than statements and slogans.” We are in the process of developing a list of specific anti-racist actions that we, as a department, are committing to, throughout all of our missions in teaching, research, and service.