On Friday, June 5, 2020, the Philadelphia Board of Health released a statement about racism and public health.

“Recent killings of African-Americans have shocked the conscience of America and rightly returned the issue of racism to the forefront of our national conversation.  The Philadelphia Board of Health recognizes the central role that historical and current racism plays in harming the health and well-being of African-Americans.  African-Americans suffer higher rates of nearly every adverse outcome – from heart disease to cancer to violence and even the recent epidemic of COVID-19 infection – owing to the impact of racism on social disadvantage through inadequate education, discrimination in employment and housing, poverty, mass incarceration, residential segregation, and racial trauma.  African-Americans experience racial trauma on a daily basis, highlighted by recent police violence. 

“The Philadelphia Board of Health is reaffirming its commitment to promulgating policies that mitigate the impact of historical and structural racism on Philadelphia communities and to considering the impact of racism when working to solve the problems that are within its authority. The Board is further committed to working to reverse this tragic legacy and its impact on health by embracing anti-racist policies that prevent acute and chronic diseases, promote healthy communities and protect the most vulnerable Philadelphians.”