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Raelene Walker, MD, FAAP

California Chapter 1, AAP President

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I started this piece of writing 12 days ago, but have paused and revised it multiple times because I was taught to not send a message in the heat of anger. I am still angry. Angry and heartbroken to see the profound pain and suffering in our country as the direct and indirect result of systemic and institutional racism. Racism is a public health crisis. As pediatricians, we know that racism affects the health of children and adults throughout life (Pediatrics article: The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health). We need to be partners, allies, and leaders in dismantling racism and other oppressive systems. It is critical to our mission as pediatricians and human beings. Individually and as a representative of our chapter of the AAP, I want to be clear that we strongly support the Black Lives Matter movement and condemn police violence and injustice.
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Our country has a 400-year history of anti-Black racism that is systemic and institutional. It will require thoughtful and sustained effort with a coalition of partners to change this. Though the events that sparked the nationwide protests that many of us are participating in are horrific, it has been inspiring to see millions of clear antiracist and pro-justice voices coming together throughout our country and the world. As a chapter, we are one of the voices in support and alliance with the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement. We will do so by partnering with other pediatric and health care groups. Attached you will find an extensive anti-racism resource list and a compilation of action steps for pediatricians. We are planning an event in the near future so that we can both learn about and strategize how to implement these action steps at every level. We also will be hosting the second annual ACT (Advocating for Children Together) conference on Sept 12, 2020 with a focus on racism and health equity issues in the COVID-19 era. There will be detailed information to come on these events and others.
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George Floyd’s funeral was this week. Let us continue to say his name and the names of other victims of injustice as we actively support equity and hold space for all those who are suffering. [6/12/2020]

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Anti-Racism Resources & Action Steps for Pediatricians

You are invited to edit, add to, and share this crowd-sourced google doc with a compilation of anti-racism resources and action steps for physicians caring for children!

ACCESS

Consider updating a subsection of interest to you, adding a link after you read a thought-provoking article or helpful list, and/or sharing info about opportunities to get involved. There are tons of great resources and lists floating around online and on social media — this living document aims to keep high-quality resources in one searchable place! For editing access or questions/suggestions, email Stephanie Y. Fong Gomez, MD.

 

More Resources

Understanding Racism:

Anti-Racism and Social Justice:

Improving Health Equity:

COVID-19 and Racial Disparities:

 

Police Violence & Health Impact

Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH, FAAP has been an advocate for children in the realms of mental health and police violence. She is using her voice now — in very high demand — across wide-ranging academic and media platforms. California Chapter 1, AAP feels fortunate to amplify her message and amazing work to her fellow chapter members. Twitter: @RheaBoydMD