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Below is an excerpt from a testimony testifying in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 (SCR 14) declaring racism is a public health crisis.
Thank you Chairman Burke, Vice Chair Huffman, Ranking Member Antonio, and members of the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee. My name is Shibani Chettri and I am representing the Public Health Graduate Student Association and the Public Health Interest Group in the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University. I am here to testify in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 (SCR 14) declaring racism is a public health crisis.
The root cause of the many health disparities we see in this country can be traced back to how deeply entrenched racism is in our society. This is nothing new. This issue has been a part of our system since before the founding of this nation and has continued after abolishing slavery and through the civil rights era of the 1950s and 60s. Rather than putting the onus completely on the individual and prom oting behavioral changes, we must focus on disrupting the wider system and dismantling structural barriers. The current system that disproportionately oppresses Black Americans can only be overhauled through extensive policy change.