Content warning: In support of trauma-informed communications, please be aware that this message contains topics that may be activating for survivors of racial violence and gun violence. The Confidential Advocacy Program can be reached 24/7 by calling 833-495-2277. Additional resources for OHSU members are available here.
Here at home and across the nation, the confluence of two public health crises continues to negatively impact far too many lives: gun violence and racism. Over the weekend, we were tragically reminded of this fact as acts of unthinkable violence in Dallas, New York and California, motivated by hate and racism, claimed the lives of 11 people and injured many others. We mourn the victims and share our condolences with all those who have been impacted. We also recognize the disproportionately activating effects these despicable events may have on Black, Indigenous and people of color in our own communities. We stand resolute in our commitment to addressing the systemic issues that contribute to inequitable health outcomes.
As an institution dedicated to healing and the well-being of all people, it is more important than ever that we continue to speak up for our values and persist with the hard work to ensure we are living up to those words. Religious intolerance and hatred, violence, racism and bigotry have no place here, and we will remain relentless in our pursuit to eradicate discrimination of any kind from our local, regional and global communities.
We must also acknowledge that our own community is not immune from the scourge of gun violence. In recent years, Portland has experienced an unprecedented level of shootings that have impacted many. In working to do our part to address this public health crisis at home and across the country, OHSU’s efforts span our missions by advancing research, implementing direct interventions, and advocating for evidence-based public policy at the state and federal level.
Change comes from action which is why today and every day, we commit ourselves to doing everything within our power to build a future where all people feel safe and welcome going about daily work, home and leisure activities. While we acknowledge there is a lot of work to do, we hope you will join us in these efforts.