6-8-2020 Feature Story:
The events of the past week highlighted for all the structural inequities and racism that community health centers have long sought to address. We who have committed ourselves to working with marginalized communities must recognize we have a long way to go.
Our very origins are rooted in the Civil Rights Movement when health center founders Jack Geiger, MD, Count Gibson, MD and John Hatch, PhD championed opportunities for community members to advance educational skills, create meaningful jobs, develop businesses, and promote self-determination in the face of economic and social injustice. We must redouble our efforts.
In the words of Dr. Geiger, "A community health center can serve as an agent of social change, intervening not only in the social determinants of its population's health but also launching a process of structural change that starts to liberate that population through community empowerment from repetitive cycles of poverty and political exclusion."
We must help and heal the communities we serve. We must loudly call out racial injustice and discrimination when we encounter it, whether personally or professionally. We must rededicate ourselves to championing the policies and programs that will create the safe, inclusive, healthy communities we all deserve.
James W. Hunt, Jr., President & CEO
Sue Joss, Board Chair; President & CEO, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center