WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — The Town of Windsor has approved a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. The decision was made during a town council meeting on Monday.
The resolution passed unanimously 9-0.
The resolution states that minorities are more likely to experience poor health outcomes because of disparities in economic stability, education, food security, health care and their physical environment. That divide has become more apparent in recent months – minority communities have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Nuchette Black-Burke from the Windsor Town Council said, “People in town have been like, ‘but we haven’t heard of anything happening,’ but why wait? We can’t rest on our laurels and wait for something to happen, we have to challenge systems in place, we have to challenge processes.”
Several residents spoke in support of it, including long-time nurse and healthcare administrator Lakisha Hyatt.
“I know a public health crisis when I see it,” she said. “As defined as a complex, urgent emergent health situation that affects the lives of other individuals, and I am sharing with you that indeed, that racism infects the lives and livelihood of individuals here in Windsor.”
Also attached to that resolution are steps moving forward, including advocating for policies that improve health in minority communities and supporting community efforts to amplify and address racism.
Also calling for racism to be declared a public health emergency is Democratic State Senator Saud Anwar.
The former mayor of South Windsor, who is also a doctor, is calling for action from Governor Lamont. He says there are inherent racial disparities in the healthcare field made obvious during the pandemic. Data shows COVID-19 disproportionately affected communities of color.
In recent weeks, lawmakers in many cities such as Minneapolis, Denver and Boston have proposed or declared racism be called public health emergencies.