As we celebrate the enormous and important contributions of Black Americans this month, let us remember that, while we have made significant strides, structural racism and inequality are still pervasive in our society and must be dismantled before we can call ourselves “a more just and perfect union.”
In the past few months, we elected the first Black, Asian American woman as Vice President, were inspired by a young Black poet at the presidential inauguration, and raised the voices of leaders like Ibram X. Kendi to reveal the trauma of racism on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). Yet at the same time, BIPOC individuals were “still more likely to have contracted, been hospitalized due to, and died from the coronavirus; to have lost a job; to have lost income; to have had trouble paying housing expenses; and to have experienced food insufficiency during the pandemic,” American Indigenous people still experience “disproportionately higher rates of mental health problems than the rest of the US population, high rates of substance use disorders (SUDs), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), [and] suicide;” and Black children are largely overrepresented in foster care and institutional and group care.
There is still much work to be done.
As advocates for systems change, we encourage you to take part in the many activities and opportunities in your communities to gain a greater understanding of the Black American experience. Below are links to a few interesting and powerful programs that may help you in your education.
• Museum of the African Diaspora, D.C.: https://www.moadsf.org/
• History Channel: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-facts