Colorado to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Colorado to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced at a “town hall” meeting on Thursday that it would declare racism a public health crisis.

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told the Denver Post that the agency will join the American Public Health Association in defining race and social inequalities as a broader health concern. She said the move is a response to a push from her staff to address the issue, saying, “I like it when my employees push me on this issue to go faster and to use language they think is more descriptive.”

The department had already published an open letter on its website calling the deaths of “George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and untold others” a symptom of “deeply-rooted systemic and institutional racism that has dehumanized and recklessly taken the lives of people of color for generations,”

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