As a woman of color, I am deeply saddened by the ongoing racism and police brutality that continues to happen in America. We continue to witness the deaths of unarmed black men and women such as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Gardner, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and countless others! As a community, we are overwhelmed, we are appalled, we are angry, we are hurting and we want justice!
Enough is enough! We need leaders to stand up and speak out. We must confront racism in order for it to stop. We need to dismantle the structures and policies that exclude black and brown people. We must demand local and national changes to ensure black families have equitable opportunities. We can no longer sit in silence when injustices occur. We must be committed to advocating and leading systems change. We must invest in training that promotes cultural sensitivity and awareness.
As the leader of Cradle Kalamazoo, I am determined to be an agent of change! I will stand in solidarity with our community leaders to address inequalities. I will use my voice and platform to change the narrative in Kalamazoo! Cradle will engage in hard discussions with local leaders and create strategies to improve race relations and advocate for systems change. We will push for equitable socioeconomic outcomes that includes families of color! Our Collaboration will continue to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) to achieve health equity and increase birth outcomes for families of color. Cradle Kalamazoo will work collectively to align our strategies to identify gaps in our services during this challenging time.
In closing, Cradle Kalamazoo will not tolerate racism, hatred or discrimination in any fashion, form or shape. We will continue to find solutions that reduce health disparities in our community. We remain committed to working in partnership with families to create strategies that increase birth outcomes and allow babies to thrive in Kalamazoo!
Dionne Bowens-Executive Director