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CEO Perspective

Addressing Racism and Racial Injustice

Vital Strategies is outraged at the murder of George Floyd. His death is the latest indictment of the institutional racism in law enforcement in the United States that has resulted in the police killings of so many Black people.

Racism is systemic and embedded deeply in the United States health care system as well. We need only look at the disproportionate suffering of communities of color from COVID-19 to see the deadly effects of this public health crisis.

Unequal access to quality health care and decades of legal, social and economic barriers mean that Black Americans continue to pay the price of structural racism with their health, as evidenced by shorter life spans, poorer outcomes in medical treatment, staggeringly high maternal mortality rates, and more. It is an affront—and a challenge—to Vital Strategies’ values and our vision of a world where everyone is protected by a strong public health system.

We recognize that a message without action doesn’t meaningfully address these issues. As an organization we will rise to the challenge by looking inward and outward at how we can better address racism and racial injustice.

We believe public health professionals have a leadership role to play. It is our responsibility to mitigate the impact of racism and other forms of social injustice so tightly woven in the web of systems that shape lives and livelihoods. It starts with us, and we must do more. We take this moment to commit to confronting injustice in how we work, in what we work on, and to hold ourselves accountable for making progress whenever and wherever we can.

  • José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies
  • Vital Strategies’ Executive Management Team