Thursday, August 17, 2017

CHF responds to Charlottesville


Colorado Health Foundation statement:

The violence that erupted this weekend in Charlottesville, Va., paints a vivid picture of why it is time for us to speak out against the hate, injustice and inequity that is plaguing our nation, our communities and our homes.
 
It was just a week to the day of the conclusion of the 2017 Colorado Health Symposium where we talked about the public health inequities caused by discrimination. The spotlight is now on Charlottesville. As a nation, we witnessed unacceptable acts of hate. And in the aftermath of this violence, we must come together and use our voices to speak out against hate crimes that we refuse to turn a blind eye to.
 
Symposium keynote speaker Sally Kohn, a columnist and political commentator for CNN, boldly put forth a call to stop hate. She shared three strategies to bridge the hate and division that we face in America today: counter-networks, counter-speech and counter-spaces. Her key messages: Don’t perpetuate hate. Surround yourself with people who are unlike you. Respond to hate speech with kindness, or even humor, and advocate for structural reform that integrates and connects us to each other.
 
Also during the Symposium, the Foundation’s President and CEO Karen McNeil-Miller spoke about a specific kind of hate—racism. When discussing health and inequity, McNeil-Miller shared, “We have to start somewhere. And we believe race is the most persistent, most pervasive and most poisonous of all inequities. It’s the granddaddy of all undiscussables.”
 
It is time to push boundaries, discuss the undiscussable and embrace our civic responsibilities to speak out against hate and inequity.
 

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