Commitment to Racial Justice

Statement Graphic Website

Racism is a public health threat. Its impact on the air people breathe is significant, measurable, and preventable. As an agency, we seek to eliminate the inequity of higher levels of air pollution that have historically been imposed upon Communities of Color. We are far from there yet and have much work to do to achieve that goal.

The unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others are horrifying examples of racism against Black people that our society must face and address. We stand with those who seek justice for George Floyd and all those who came before him, and justice in our nation. We stand in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racial injustices.

In addition, the disproportionate impact of a respiratory disease like COVID-19, experienced at particularly higher rates by Black people and People of Color, are evidence of the inequities in health access and other disproportionate social and economic factors. Those inequities must also be addressed.

We commit to further understanding our role in the broader context of these injustices by examining our own internal processes and how they do or do not uphold equity and racial justice and how they support our Staff of Color. We commit to holding ourselves and our leadership accountable for creating meaningful change that addresses those issues and moves us toward equity and justice.

We also commit to taking action, new and continuing, that demonstrate our support for Black people and People of Color, including:

  • Building on and enhancing our anti-racism educational opportunities for staff that supports our goal to embed equity in our internal practices;
  • Providing scientific data to highlight the disproportionate impact of air pollution in communities in our region;
  • Advocating to eliminate those disparities through support of a clean and equitable transportation system;
  • Supplying resources to impacted communities including through our current focus community work and building on other efforts;
  • Learning through meaningful dialogue and by listening to impacted communities about best practices and solutions.

Eliminating racism as a public health threat must not be just an aspiration or a goal. It must be a reality that we build together, action by action, day by day.