Racism is a public health issue

Statement of Annette Kowal, Chief Executive Officer and President

The Community Health Center movement emerged from the civil rights movement, with a goal of health equity. The first two health centers began in 1967, in urban Boston, Massachusetts and rural Mound Bayou, Mississippi, because more needed to be done to bring racial equity to the health system. While that history is a foundation for our work and is one piece of fighting for a more just system, it is not enough.

CCHN stands in solidarity with our community members, family members, friends, and neighbors who are calling for changes to a system that still perpetuates disparities and inequity in safety, access to health care, wealth, education, employment, housing, criminal justice, and so much more, based on the color of one’s skin.

Racism is a public health issue, so as an organization, we are committed to being anti-racist. This work is ongoing, it is iterative, it is messy. And it is necessary.

We want a future where systemic racism and positions of power are no longer rooted in white supremacy, and no longer dictate access to health. That vision motivates us to learn more and do more now as individuals and as an organization to be a part of dismantling an unjust system. 

We invite you to join us and be in conversation with us.