No Time to Waste: Act up for Black Lives
Like so many across the country, Howard Brown Health continues to feel outraged at the death of George Floyd and the systemic oppression his tragedy represents.
The energy and urgency of this moment must be sustained in order for government, civil society, businesses, and nonprofits, including Howard Brown Health, to confront tacit complicity with systemic racism and white supremacy. George Floyd is just one of the many who were unjustly killed by police. We invoke their names in remembrance and solemn commitment to the cause for justice:
Breonna Taylor. Tony Mcdade. Atatiana Jefferson. Botham Jean. Alton Sterling. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. Oscar Grant. Eric Garner. There are countless more Black lives lost, and we must say their names.
Our nation and its legal, criminal justice, education, and healthcare systems were built on racist frameworks. We acknowledge our responsibility to dismantle racism and rebuild civil society on equitable and inclusive foundations.
Today, we owe many of our rights to those who stood up for LGBTQ people at Stonewall. The origins of the modern-day LGBTQ liberation movement, when Black (Marsha P Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie, Miss Major) and Brown (Sylvia Rivera) queer people responded to police violence in 1969, they sparked an unstoppable movement to change minds. Despite gains achieved for LGBTQ rights, racial inequality persists. LGBTQ people of all backgrounds must show up for the Black community at-large and LGBTQ Black people in particular.
In the coming days, you will hear more about Howard Brown’s support of efforts to show up for Black people. We are advocating for:
- Investing in Black communities through community services and alternatives to policing such as restorative justice and unarmed mediation (No Cop Academy)
- An end to cash bail in Cook County (Coalition to End Money Bond)
- Reducing mass incarceration
- Eliminating mandatory minimums for drug offenses
- Minimizing criminal justice involvement for people who use drugs and engage in sex work and maximize the offer of culturally competent services and workforce alternatives
- The immediate release of protesters in custody
- Ending arrests and police violence used against protesters
We encourage non-Black people to support their Black peers today and in the future:
- Educate yourself by learning about police violence in the United States and anti-racism practices (Anti-racism for Beginners, Anti-racism Resources for White People, Asian American Pacific Islander Resources on Anti-Blackness)
- Donate to Black-led LGBTQ organizations, such as Affinity; Brave Space Alliance; Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus; Lorde, Rustin and Bates; Lighthouse Foundation; BYP100; and The Okra Project
- Get involved in local anti-racist campaigns
- Support Black-owned businesses (blackownedchicago.com)
- Help local efforts to clean up neighborhoods affected by looting, such as My Block, My Hood, My City.
Some supportive resources for restoration and healing for Black people include:
- Healing Resources for BIPOC Organizers & Allies Taking Action for Black Lives
- Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling With This Very Painful Week
Howard Brown Health will continue to evaluate and refine how we support our Black patients, staff, and neighbors and pursue efforts to dismantle racism both in and out of our walls. We will continue to listen to our communities and advocate for change in all areas of our service delivery. Thank you to our staff, patients, and community for continuing to keep us accountable in this effort.