Racism is a Public Health Crisis in Atlanta

The Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI) was formed in 2012 to understand and transform the systems that keep too many Atlantans, in particular Atlantans of color, from achieving good health and overall wellbeing. ARCHI made a 28-year commitment to ensure that the changes we sought would impact an entire generation and that ARCHI and its partners could tackle not just the symptoms but the root causes of our community’s inequities. 
Systemic racism and its lethal consequences for Black Atlantans has yet again been accelerated into our community’s consciousness creating significant opportunities to address these persistent issues at a scale and speed that was not imaginable before. ARCHI and so many of its partners are committed to being a part of and where needed, driving the systemic change that has been necessary for so long. ARCHI partners recognize that unless these underlying issues are addressed and racism is dismantled, we will never be able to achieve our goal of health and wellbeing for all Atlantans. To that end we want to be very clear: 
  • We believe that Black Lives Matter  
  • We agree with  leaders, experts, scientists and medical professionals who have defined racism as a public health crisis 
  •  We are striving to be an anti-racist collaboration 
Over the last two and half years, ARCHI staff and partners have been deeply involved in an exploration of the specific policies, practices, investments and prejudices that have created and continue to perpetuate inequity in our community. While we have increased knowledge and understanding, provided platforms for new discussion and training, there always was and still is so much more to do. 
Our commitment is to: 
  • Foster continued dialogue and grow the skills of our partners and all in our community who are ready to change  
  • Recognize that police violence is a public health concern and must be stopped 
  • Address racism now by integrating racial equity into the work that is being done to address the economic, social, and health challenges of the COVID-19 crisis 
We remain hopeful but vigilant, committed and frustrated, ready to learn and ready to act. 
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