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As we celebrate Black History Month, let’s strengthen racial justice

Date: Feb 01 2021

Contact: Media Relations 

Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

Today, the American Public Health Association expresses its longstanding recognition of Black History Month, especially important at such a pivotal time of national racial reckoning.

Throughout February we explore the important contributions of African Americans to the progress of our nation and celebrate important aspects of the African American history. During this month of focus, we are reminded that every day of the year, our society must rededicate its efforts and resources to confronting and dismantling the system of oppression constructed by the institutions and systems of racism. While we have made great strides over the years, equity and racial justice are components to achieving our more perfect union that have not been optimized.

A raging pandemic that has disproportionately taken the lives of Black Americans, higher rates of chronic illness, consistent housing instability and disparities in access to education and economic opportunity still run deep in the divisions caused by the ongoing public health crisis of racism.

I find hope and strength in the fact that we are alike more than we are different, and our differences are worth celebrating. This month is another opportunity to expand our understanding of the richness of African American culture and the African diaspora, while strengthening our efforts towards advancing racial and health equity.


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at