June 1, 2020 – These are incredibly trying and painful times for our nation. As we still contend with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, racism—another crisis that has plagued our country for centuries—continues to impact our communities.
The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others not only anger us but their stories serve as beacons shining a light to uncover the deeply entrenched racism, social injustice and disparities that continue to remain in today’s society.
If these issues continue to go unchecked, they will persist in dividing our nation, polarizing our communities, and negatively impacting the quality of life for people of color. AWHONN does not tolerate racism, bigotry or unequal treatment of any human being. Together, our collective voices must authentically, thoughtfully and tirelessly engage in creating positive change across our nation, so that we are a unified voice for a systematic transformation. The solution necessitates commitment and participation by all members to demonstrate solidarity as we work to ensure a pathway to justice and equality.
To that end, we will be working with our Committees and our Legislative Affairs staff to communicate our position with our lawmakers on a national, state and local level. We will be working with Section leaders to disseminate this information along with ways that the membership can advocate on these issues.
While access to health care is one factor of maternal mortality, the removal of fear from racial injustice and violence is the factor that must be addressed now. Individuals who know they are safe from harm are people who can focus on having a healthy baby.
Whether you serve on the frontline of healthcare or on the frontline of promoting change, we wish you safety and wellness in all that you do.
Thank you for your service to the communities that we serve and thank you for being an AWHONN member.
Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP
Kathleen Hale, MS, RN, NE-BC
AWHONN Board of Directors