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‘We share our collective grief’: Public Health Sudbury expresses ‘outrage’ at racism

‘These tragedies must somehow transform into constructive action,’ says chief medical officer of health

Sudbury's health unit has published an anti-racism statement proclaiming outrage at the injustice of racism..  

The statement, signed by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, said racism is known to harm mental and physical health.

"We share our collective grief over the recent, tragic deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto and George Floyd in Minneapolis," said the statement issued Thursday by Public Health Sudbury and Districts.

"We mourn lives and the potential that has been lost. We are outraged at the injustices caused by racism. However, we know that these tragedies must somehow transform into constructive action so that we can be part of the solution. We believe Public Health has a role to play in creating the equitable future we want for our children, our families, our communities, and ourselves," Sutcliffe's statement continued. 

Public Health Sudbury & Districts stands firmly in support of racial equity and in solidarity with all who work for it, said the statement, which also encouraged all citizens to speak out, to listen, to stand united and act in ways to eliminate all forms of racism in our communities and institutions. 

"Racism and oppression harm mental and physical health. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is resolved to continue advancing racial equity within our own agency as well as across our service area. Racial equity and antidiscrimination are foundational to our work, embedded into our public health practice," said the statement. 

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Public Health Sudbury also said it has not weakened its resolve toward racial equity and Indigenous engagement.

"It is by facing head-on critical and difficult conversations, by questioning our own unconscious biases, and by listening and amplifying the voices of all peoples affected by racism, that we will move forward to a future where no single human potential is lost," said the statement.

"Yesterday we grieved. Today we acknowledge and act. Tomorrow we rejoice," the statement concluded.


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Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

About the Author: Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

Len Gillis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter at covering health care in northeastern Ontario and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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