UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Statement on the Death of George Floyd and the Social Justice Protests Across the Nation
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s stands with those across our country demanding racial justice. We stand with those who are calling for the inalienable rights of every person in this country to life and to liberty. We stand with those who seek the “more perfect union” promised in our founding documents.
We condemn the systemic inequality and racial discrimination that infects our society and has prevented generations of Black and African Americans from contributing their full potential to our nation.
Yet, as important as it is to speak out to condemn these historic injustices, it is not enough to simply issue press releases and social media posts. Each of us has to act with purpose, urgency and impact to change ourselves and our society in ways that bend the arc of history toward justice.
As healthcare advocates, we hold ourselves to this standard in everything we do. We know that inequality reaches into our healthcare sector where Blacks and other people of color experience health disparities as a result of a lifetime of social and economic discrimination. For example, Blacks are 2 to 3 times more likely and Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than whites. And our fight to cure Alzheimer’s has also exposed the exclusion of Blacks, Latinos, and other communities of color in medical research essential to improving healthcare for families and communities. Moreover, we have found that our healthcare system often fails communities of color and poor people, limiting equal access to the promising treatments and other interventions essential to stopping Alzheimer’s and related risk factors.
As a result, championing Alzheimer’s cures for all has meant that social and racial justice has become central to our mission. Our work to demand equitable access to research, care, and treatments for Black and brown communities isn’t about abstract values. This action-oriented work is necessary because generational indifference and inaction against racism has resulted in deeply rooted inequities across our society, especially in health. We can’t ignore this.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s renews and deepens its commitment to stand up against injustice, inequality and apathy today and every day. Without unrelenting commitment to these actions, our mission to ending Alzheimer’s will fail.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
June 2, 2020