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Press Room

Statement from Vital Strategies President and CEO, José Luis Castro on killing of Daunte Wright by police

“At Vital Strategies, we are at a loss for words, worse, we are struggling not to lose hope at what seems to be an interminable loss of Black lives at the hands of police officers, and the too-low level of urgency and too-slow pace for addressing the public health crisis of police violence.  

The notion of “accident” or “unintended” is hollow. And thoughts and prayers are not enough for Daunte Wright’s family; they are entitled to answers. His killing will be investigated. But what is not in question is that the practices, procedures and bias baked into police culture mean this institution, whose mission is security, has become a vehicle for injustice and death, especially for Black people and Black men in particular. 

We must go beyond police reform and transform how we provide safety and justice to our communities. We must also confront the deep-rooted racism embedded in the foundation of this country’s institutions.  

The journey ahead is long but with voices raised and our insistence on reform, in time it will lead toward a more just society. And along the way to this transformation, no matter what, we must not stop speaking out, we must not give up hope. 

Vital Strategies condemns police violence. We stand with our Black colleagues, communities and partners during this painful time.”

#PoliceViolenceIsAPublicHealthCrisis #SayTheirNames 

About José Luis Castro

José Luis Castro is the President & CEO of Vital Strategies, where he has led a rapid expansion of Vital Strategies’ portfolio, working with governments to tackle the world’s leading killers, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. The organization now reaches into 73 countries and has touched the lives of more than 2 billion people.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.

To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat

Media Contact

Christina Honeysett,