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FutureStarrFuture Is an Oppotunity Anti Racist Actvist Ic Star
As the WPHA story illustrates, it is not enough to make a declaration of racism a public health crisis. Public health has to be in alignment with the radical imagination and with the communities it serves, works to protect, and center. Accountability with a material commitment toward first naming and then reckoning with lack of racial consciousness, protection of privilege, and internalized oppression and dominance. The desired change would be a raised awareness and critical analysis of racial consciousness and the articulation of power and difference at a structural level.
The Wisconsin Public Health Association (WPHA) is the largest and most recognized membership association for public health professionals in Wisconsin. Catalyzed by the reality of injustice in local maternal/child health, the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, and the 2016 launch of a National Campaign Against Racism by the American Public Health Association (7, 33), At-Large Representative for the Board of Directors Lilliann Paine, MPH created a Racial Equity Workgroup for the Wisconsin Public Health Association (WPHA). Driven to get racial equity on the strategic planning agenda of the WPHA, Paine along with colleagues Jessica LeClair and Colleen Moran led the development of the Racial Equity Workgroup. This trio emphasized the need for WPHA to create educational opportunities and build capacity (e.g., board orientation, conference, external evaluator, trained facilitator) to have deliberate dialogue regarding whiteness, power, and privilege. It was the desire of these founding members to establish racial equity as a core element in the WPHA.
One of the strong considerations for the WPHA 2018 Resolution was to conduct an organizational assessment of internal policy and procedures using the Beloved Community Survey to ensure racial equity is a core element for the organization. The survey results assessed on a scale of nine specific domains: embracing conflict, seeking reconciliation, seeing, redeeming qualities, forgiving, loving, moving toward liberation, balancing, being radically open, and struggling with fear. The findings of the survey did not translate into improved outcomes but rather created conditions where Beloved Community could become a practice (41). (Source: www.frontiersin.org)