Racism is a Public Health Crisis

The Colorado Health Institute is a nonpartisan, independent organization. Our work is evidence-based analysis.

But nonpartisan does not mean silent. And the data make one thing clear: Racism is a public health crisis.

It is impossible for people to lead their healthiest lives when racism permeates every aspect of our society. Institutionalized racism and the systemic inequities that permeate American life lead to stress, fear, and limited opportunities that are keeping too many Coloradans from living healthy lives. Too often, these factors end their lives.

We stand alongside those who are rising up to say that social injustices must be addressed.  And they must be addressed now. We join the chorus calling for change, and we are committed to using our platform and work to combat this crisis.

The work of CHI has long quantified and described disparities and inequities not only in the health system but in areas like housing, nutrition, child care, and economic development, all of which have a profound influence on health outcomes. Yet this moment – at the intersection of a great pandemic and yet another senseless killing of a black man at the hands of a white police officer while his fellow officers looked on – amplifies our message. Whether it’s the 400 years of systematic disadvantage or the nine minutes it took to take George Floyd’s life, racism kills.

We’re under no illusion that our words can turn the painful tide that has washed upon our country. But we feel compelled to raise our voices for the sake of all the people we have sought to aid over the years.

Racism is racism, and we condemn it.

My colleagues at CHI join me in this statement.

  • Karam Ahmad
  • Kristi Arellano
  • Jasmine Bains
  • Nina Bastian
  • Julie Bonnet  
  • Jeff Bontrager
  • Eli Boone
  • Ashlie Brown
  • Spencer Budd
  • Mia Bulifa
  • Alex Caldwell
  • Brian Clark
  • Chrissy Esposito
  • Julia Char Gilbert
  • Joe Hanel
  • Jalyn Ingalls
  • Emily Johnson
  • Allie Morgan
  • Edirin Okoloko
  • Paul Presken
  • Sara Schmitt
  • Rebecca Silvernale
  • Nicole Steffens
  • Lindsey Whittington
  • Alec Williams