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REACH Foundation Stands with Black Americans against Racial Injustice

June 3, 2020

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The REACH Healthcare Foundation team is grieving for our Black colleagues, friends and neighbors as they struggle with their shock and pain over the cruel loss of life of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade—names recently added to the long list of Black men and women who have lost their lives through police violence. They are exhausted. They are angry. And they are afraid. Afraid of being killed or attacked because of the color of their skin. And we hurt for them and with them.

Conversations about race are hard, and they are painful. But we must have them. Not just on our social media platforms with hashtags and black screenshots from the safety of our homes. We must dig into the issue of race in every system and social network within which we operate. We must wake up to White America’s history—the sin and stain of racism—which has been solidly and systematically embedded in every institution in America, including government, education, healthcare, and, yes, philanthropy. We must acknowledge that White privilege and authority have been used to protect only some Americans while systematically marginalizing, demoralizing and killing Black Americans, not only intentionally, but through our collective negligence, ignorance and silence.

REACH does not and will not stand for discrimination of any kind. More than a decade ago, we adopted a non-discrimination policy that went well beyond federal and state laws because we understood that racism and other forms of discrimination show themselves no more profoundly than in the disparities which exist between Black America and White. Mortality, chronic disease, prenatal care, uninsurance—you name the health outcome or indicator and we will show you how Black Americans suffer more and die earlier from the same afflictions experienced by Whites.

Our non-discrimination policy guides our community investments in dozens of local organizations, partners and leaders in the nonprofit sector that work tirelessly to address these disparities, and we applaud them. They are doing yeoman’s work while continually having their public funds slashed so that fewer people are served.

While we recommit to examine our foundation’s support of community discussion, action and advocacy around issues of equity and justice, we promise to seek out new ways to raise our collective voices to press for desperately needed change to our region. REACH will continue to use our privilege and influence to support and partner with leaders and leadership that more accurately reflect the beautiful and powerful diversity of our region.

Our team at REACH is not perfect. But we are prepared to learn, listen, be present and act without hesitation to reduce suffering and death among Black men and women in our community. We will apply the same level of advocacy for equity and racial justice for Black Americans that we do for all people to have access to affordable, quality health care.

We will be loud; we will be consistent; and we will be present as America comes together to truly reflect the ideals and country that our Constitution calls us to be.

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