RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY/WFXR) — The Virginia State Conference NAACP released a statement Wednesday applauding the General Assembly’s passage of a joint resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis.
President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. issued the following statement after House Joint Resolution 537 passed on Tuesday, Feb. 23:
“When the Virginia NAACP released our legislative agenda for the General Assembly session, we made the declaration of Racism as a Public Health Crisis our number one priority this year. We know that Systemic Racism manifests itself as a determinant to public health through persistent Racial Disparities in all areas of our lives.
We commend Delegate Lashrecse Aird for championing this NAACP priority legislation, and applaud members of the General Assembly who voted in favor of this important resolution. When signed into law, Virginia will become the first state in the south to declare Racism as a Public Health Crisis.
The Virginia NAACP expects nothing less than Governor Ralph Northam’s approval of this resolution. Virginians of color, especially Black Virginians, deserve no further delay of the Commonwealth’s public recognition of this centuries-old Crisis.”
If signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam, House Joint Resolution 537 would enact five policies aimed at fighting systemic racism.
Some of those policies include making the Commission to Examine Racial Inequality in Virginia Law permanent, expanding state employee training on how to recognize bias, and expanding the Virginia Department of Health’s Office on Health Equity’s directive to address racism as a public health crisis and offer funding recommendations.
You can read the full bill by clicking here.