The following message is being sent from SPR President, Guillermo Prado, on behalf of the SPR Board of Directors, and NPSC Co-Directors, Diana Fishbein and John Roman, on behalf of the NPSC Board of Directors.
Dear Friends, Collaborators, and Partners,
George Floyd's death adds to a rapidly growing list of Black people assaulted and killed in the U.S. as a direct consequence of our society's structural, systemic, and individual racism. Racial profiling and aggressive, discriminatory policing ranging from threats to lethal force are commonplace experiences for many Black Americans. The problems within policing are neither unique nor isolated: racism is in the groundwater of our country.
Racism impacts the health, mental health, and wellbeing of children born Black in America in ways that are evident throughout the life course. Black Americans are more often exposed to and at increased risk of death from the COVID-19 virus due to disproportionate exposure through employment in “essential” industries, healthcare access disparities, provider bias, and other structural disparities. These disparities impact economic stability, employment, food security, educational opportunities, housing and a host of other important contributors to health and wellbeing.
The Society for Prevention Research (SPR) and the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC) recognize institutional, systemic and individual racism as a fundamental cause of disparities across all of society, directly affecting health, housing, education, employment, and equitable treatment of Black Americans. Racism, coupled with our ongoing tolerance for it, undermines democratic values for all people in the U.S.
As prevention researchers, educators and practitioners, we condemn the atrocities and pain that has been inflicted on Black people for centuries. We must call attention to the deep and indelible impacts of racism on Black Americans and other people of color while calling for change. This will require a coordinated public health effort as racism is a chronic and insidious illness that hurts all Americans.
We support the widescale implementation of programs and policies generated by the field of prevention science shown to ameliorate, challenge, and change system, institutional and individual level policies and practices that perpetuate and sustain racism. We are collectively committed to working with governing bodies and communities to promote the use of evidence-based, prevention science-based solutions that are community-led to ensure that all Black Americans and people of color live in a society that is fair, just and equitable. Prevention science investments in effective programs, policies and practices, and in training the next generation of prevention scientists and practitioners, will assure that we can all work together as a nation to eradicate racism.
With sincere commitment,
Guillermo Prado, SPR President
Diana Fishbein, NPSC, Co-Director
John Roman, NPSC, Co-Director
For more information: To access prevention scientists, educators, clinicians, and practitioners to work with your community or state to implement and strengthen community-based solutions to prevent all forms of violence, disparities, and inequities, you can contact us:
Society for Prevention Research, https://www.preventionresearch.org/
National Prevention Science Coalition, https://www.npscoalition.org/