Hamden declares racism a public health crisis

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hamden’s Legislative Town Council met on Monday to consider a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. The group voted unanimously in favor of the move.

The meeting adjourned early Tuesday morning. Mayor Curt Leng says this gives the town a clear path to intentionally acknowledge and address disparities and inequities in communities. He also said adopting this resolution would allow the town to authorize data analysis and policy analysis to prevent unintentional injustices. 

RELATED: List of CT towns to declare racism a public health crisis

Doctors say racism can lead to a number of health issues including higher rates of stress, chronic disease and low infant birth rates.

At least ten other cities and towns in Connecticut including Manchester, Windsor, and West Hartford have adopted similar resolutions recently.

This comes after the town already formed a Hamden Equity and Inclusivity Task Force after an incident that happened within the school system. A teacher at West Woods Elementary wanted to teach students about slavery and decided to organize a play. The uproar came when the teacher cast two biracial students as slaves.

RELATED: Hamden mayor a ‘no show’ at meeting to discuss racism in town after 2 students of color were cast as slaves in school play

Back in February, as part of the series of meetings held in response to the incident, Mayor Leng addressed how the town planned on bringing about change. Again, this conversation started months ago.

“I think there’s anger from a time over the last decades where certain things that we’re talking about have been talked about for a long time but haven’t been acted on and now if we’re going to be successful in this, we will have to demonstrate that these discussions will actually bring change,” Hamden Mayor Curt Leng.

RELATED: Waterbury police chief addresses race and reform in radio town hall

Fast forward, now the town is taking steps towards that change.

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