The following statement can be attributed to Cynthia A. Pearson, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network.
Contact: Evita Almassi, [email protected] or 425-749-1886
Washington D.C. --- As a national women’s health organization, we know that health justice demands racial justice. Being protected against racially motivated police violence is a health issue.
This guilty on all counts verdict today is only one small step in the right direction. Change must happen and it must happen now. Policies that support the unjust and inequitable treatment of Black, indigenous, undocumented and other women of color must improve, including policies that govern the use of force by police and the response of police to protests.
We know that the ability to live without fear of racially motivated police violence or being targeted for oppression during free speech activities is denied to many Black, indigenous, undocumented and other women of color. These experiences harm those who are targeted, but the experience is not solely individual. The ability of some of us to shop, jog, play or simply sleep while others are treated unjustly is due to structures and systems established and sustained by White supremacy.
The health needs of women in all their diversities will not be met without social justice, reproductive justice, and attention to the social determinants of health. In our work for the health of women in all their diversities, we will continue to speak up against injustice and racially motivated police violence.
The NWHN’s founders used protests and civil disobedience to challenge patriarchal and racist policies in health care. We stand on their shoulders, and in solidarity with those working on the multiple issues that are necessary for all of us to live healthy lives.
The National Women’s Health Network is supported by our members and by choice we do not accept financial support from drug companies or medical device manufacturers. We bring the voices, concerns, and needs of women consumers to policy and regulatory tables.
Evita Almassi, MSW, served as the Communications and Digital Marketing Manager for the NWHN. Her 10+ years in nonprofit communications – especially with social media advocacy campaigns – enabled the NWHN to reach and empower more women in their health education and advocacy journeys.