The Alliance Stands with Black Lives Matter!
While many white Americans are only now waking up to the realities of racism and police brutality against Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of color (BBIPOC) communities, racism has always undergirded American life. BBIPOC People have always known and borne this burden.
BBIPOC people in particular have been historical targets of medical and mental abuse by health practitioners and law enforcement. Similarly, a lack of access to culturally responsive care tailored to the experiences, values, and needs of marginalized people exacerbates the mental health effects of racial trauma. Furthermore, the Alliance acknowledges severe behavioral health issues arise as result of, and are well maintained by our deeply rooted white supremacist system.
Race-related trauma must be named and addressed as a social determinate of health. Typically accepted social determinants of health such as food scarcity, educational inequities, wage and wealth gaps, lack of access to care, the disproportionate funneling of BBIPOC youth and adults through the justice system, due to lack of access to proper mental health care, cultural biases from health providers, and unresolved trauma, ensure that BBIPOC’s in the United States are 20% more likely than whites to live with mental illness.
Much like a virus, white supremacy is mutating and taking on new shapes that follow flows of capital and power and must be brought to light — and destroyed. The pandemic has exacerbated the vast racial, class, and gender inequalities that characterize the United States’ healthcare and economic systems. The crisis has demonstrated that mental health, like all health, isn’t merely a question of individual illness or wellness, it is instead fundamentally tied to communities’ collective social and economic health.
The Alliance believes in the call to reimagine public health; while moving away from a narrow conception of public safety that relies on policing and punishment. The Alliance believes in investing in a community safety net that is Anti-Racist at its core and includes, stable housing, food stability, equitable and accessible health services and education that can directly address historical trauma.
The Alliance believes in criminal justice reform, decriminalization of BBIPOC and immigrant communities, and re-enfranchisement of rights for currently and formerly incarcerated peoples, access to care and treatment rather than punishment, and continued narrative change work.
Our struggle is mutual and our liberation is mutual. Our collective physical and mental health depends on reallocating our resources, realigning our community supports, and reimagining our future together.
Resources on systemic racism and mental health and Covid-19