As you have no doubt heard over the last couple weeks, the world has been struck by the brutal face of racism still present today. We are deeply saddened by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others, and believe that the police brutality and extrajudicial killings of black people, rooted in white supremacy, cannot go on. Police brutality is only one of many manifestations of institutionalised racism, along with poorer health outcomes and quality of life.
Racism is endemic throughout society, and it has been an undeclared global health emergency for as long as any of us can remember. The Black Lives Matter movement has been working tirelessly for years to equal the playing field for a community suffering under systems designed to oppress them. It is inexcusable, however, that it is still needed in 2020. This is a unique time and opportunity to use the momentum felt around the world to make sure that the issue does not remain unaddressed.
As Students for Global Health, we are a diverse group of students with a national and international voice. However, we were unsure on the best way to approach this issue.
That does not excuse our silence, and for that we apologise. Silence is never the answer. While we may not all be able to understand through our personal experiences the extent of the pain those of the black community have gone through, we stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. We are here to listen, to learn, and to do whatever we can to be of help to the movement. If you want to share your stories, or use our platform to share resources and petitions, we encourage you to reach out to us. We are here to help however we can.
We will use our space and platform to elevate the voices of black people and we’ll be sharing campaigns throughout the UK, resources and reading lists to help you through re-educating ourselves as a society, and people and groups online to follow. Like so many others, we’re also learning and we will share through our social media and branches any opportunities for individual members to be involved. We stand in solidarity with black communities, and will do everything we can with our platform to help.