One Year Later: Our Continuing Commitment to Equity
At the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery was an engrained part of our nation’s cultural and economic structure. The end of the Civil War marked the beginning of the end to slavery. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers marched into Galveston, Texas, announcing the end of the war and that enslaved people were now free.
Slavery was abolished over 150 years ago, and yet racism and white supremacy are remnants that continue to deteriorate our social structure today. We know racism touches every aspect of our society. It is linked to the social determinants of health that restrict Black people’s access to health services, educational opportunities, clean and affordable living conditions, and much more. The murder of George Floyd, increased police brutality, rising Black maternal deaths, and more have propelled an overdue reckoning with racism and its impacts on our nation.
With regard to Power to Decide, we have started examining our actions, owning our truths, and assessing how we can stand up for the rights and needs of the Black communities we serve. As an organization, we have made some strides to prioritize our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work and our DEI Committee. We have promoted strategies and best practices that create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture in the workplace. We have also organized an anti-racist affinity group of white identifying staff to promote anti-racism norms in order to build a more equitable work environment. In addition, we have begun to observe Juneteenth and going forward, we will continue the work of leading our organization in anti-racist and anti-bias learning.
It is critical for our organization to continue to examine and acknowledge the ways that racism restricts access to information and opportunities to receive comprehensive reproductive health services. We commit to seek out opportunities to support and collaborate with entities working to address structural racism, health inequities, and the associated economic and educational impacts. Only in this way can we truly be an organization that helps to ensure all people have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child.
Juneteenth serves as a reminder that more work is needed in our organization and more broadly as a nation to reckon with the impact of racism and reduce the inequities faced by Black people every day. Only through this important work, will we be able to achieve reproductive well-being for all.