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CHDI Statement on Racial Injustice


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June 4, 2020

Statement on Racial Injustice from the Child Health and Development Institute

The murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, and the recent killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, have shaken us to the core. The horror of these events are emblematic of the deep injustices present in our society, reflected in incidents of police brutality, racism, and injustice perpetrated against countless Black Americans. We cannot allow racial injustice and violence to continue. Here at CHDI, we denounce police brutality, racism, and injustice and add our voice to the call for racial justice and equity in our communities, state and nation.

Centuries of structural racism contribute to unjust conditions that permeate our systems and institutions and result in measurable harm to children and families of color.  Connecticut ranks as the 4th healthiest state overall, yet it ranks 41st among all states for racial/ethnic disparities in health status. A child’s race and zip code are powerful determinants of their lifelong health and economic outcomes. Too many children of color are not able to reach their potential due to widespread racism and inequities that start from birth. 

We must ensure that every child has the right to grow up healthy and thrive. We must ensure that every parent can raise their child in a safe and healthy environment. This is fundamental to CHDI’s vision, and it guides our daily work.

It is our collective work to root out the deadly effects of racism and injustice in our own lives and in our society. At CHDI, we have an additional responsibility to address the institutionalized racism and injustice in health and child serving systems that have compromised the health and development of children and their families. We join partners throughout the state and country by standing in solidarity with Black Americans and communities of color to root out racism. We also commit to working with child-serving systems to help build a healthier, more just, and more equitable society so that all children can grow up to lead healthy and productive lives.

Jeffrey Vanderploeg, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Child Health and Development Institute