The events of the year 2020 both exposed and exacerbated inequities in our society. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased exponentially across the nation. Last week’s senseless violence in Atlanta took more innocent lives – and demands a response. As an organization that values diversity and inclusion and is in the business of saving lives, we condemn the rising violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
Through this message, and other efforts, we want to raise awareness of these violent events, demonstrate the need to be supportive of AAPI communities, and explore opportunities for us to do more to support our leaders, staff, patients, and families of AAPI communities.
First, let me take a moment to speak directly to our Luminis Health colleagues, patients, family and community members who identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander. You are a valued member of our health system and our community, and we stand with you. Your safety, mental health and wellbeing matter.
We believe there remains much to be done to dismantle and disrupt the hate that pervades our society and we are committed to doing more. As mentioned in last year’s messages on xenophobia and racism, incidents of hate, discrimination, and xenophobic rhetoric are not acceptable, and we must play a role in addressing them. Through our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy, we will continue to confront racism, injustice, hate and inequity in all of its forms. We will not lose our unity or be torn apart by those that seek to divide us.
In response to last year’s events, many of you are aware that we created the Health Equity and Anti-Racism Task (HEART) Force to facilitate further progress in our DEI journey. The recommendations forthcoming from the HEART Force aim to confront racism and discrimination, address the effects of systemic inequity, disrupt hate and injustice, and support an innovative culture of thriving inclusion across Luminis Health. Through thoughtful partnerships and the purposeful engagement of our workforce, we will change and positively impact our communities.
As we work to educate ourselves, I invite you to join me in learning more about what we can do individually and collectively. I invite you to read this recent Vox article on Why Pandemics Activate Xenophobia, as well as The New Yorker’s piece on Confronting Anti-Asian Discrimination During the Coronavirus Crisis (written a year ago). Together, we can work to effect change and make a difference for our colleagues, patients, friends and families.