KC Healthy Kids shares the sadness, frustration and outrage expressed by protesters over the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody, as well as other Black people who have met similar fates throughout the nation, including in our community. These events are not isolated; they are part of four centuries of violent and systemic racism in our nation. We stand with civil rights leaders in calling for significant reforms needed to achieve racial, economic and health equity.
We know that words of sympathy and solidarity are meaningless without concrete action. In order to confront and dismantle pervasive racism, we must adapt and grow, as an agency and as individuals.
We are looking at all of the ways we operate our agency, our programs and our policy efforts. Each member of our staff is being encouraged to give input based on their unique roles and perspectives. Then we’ll take time to thoughtfully evaluate what is needed in our organization and what we are well-positioned to contribute amidst the current crises and going forward.
In the following week, we’ll post an article detailing ways in which we are taking action to match our words, and will identify actions our partners and supporters can take as well.
Here is our commitment: We will…
…Seek out and listen to the advice, perspectives and leadership of people of color and ensure effectiveness and accountability as we continue critical self-assessment.
…Continue to foster a culture where staff can respectfully discuss racial equity and hold each other accountable, while recognizing it’s not the job of team members who are Black or People of Color to teach White peers how to be better.
…We’ve always fought against policies that create health and economic disparities. Now we’ll explicitly identify them as racist.
…Encourage our partners and supporters to make a similar commitment. We say to you: your progress and growth is essential to our collective ability to advance equity. Let’s make this a part of every project we enter into together.
We are working to be better. For those who want to do the same, here are some excellent resources: