The brutal murder of Daunte Wright, a black man, is yet another heartbreaking moment of unnecessary police violence in Minnesota. This comes after many others have also fallen victim to police brutality in Minnesota for no reason other than the color of their skin, including Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, George Floyd, and countless others. We know that Daunte Wright immediately called his mother when he was pulled over. We remember how George Floyd called out “Mama!” with his dying breaths.

This week is Black Maternal Health Week.

As healthcare providers who live in and serve all the women of Minnesota, we cannot be silent as racial injustice continues to plague our communities. We bear witness to how, both in and out of the hospital, risk to health and wellbeing varies dramatically based on skin color. We recognize the deep and painful public health crises that racism and police violence pose to our communities. We must acknowledge that these are not simply individual tragedies. These issues are reflective of a systemic problem that will not change until we make personal, professional, legislative, and policy improvements. We live in a country that has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, and they are especially high among our Black mothers. Maternal mortality among Black Women is two to three times the rate of White, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander women regardless of their income or education levels.

Individually, we are committed to continuing conversations around implicit bias training in health care, including having discussions on racism and justice with our larger community with the ultimate goal to serve all of our patients with a commitment to diversity, inclusion and justice.

Systemically, we must continue to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We will work to ensure that all women have equitable access to healthcare in all stages of their lives. We are committed to building a health care system that delivers equity and dignity to Black, Indigenous, and other women and girls of color.

Most importantly, we are also committed to attain racial equality in the workplace by active recruitment and retention of Black, Indigenous and People of Color, as healthcare providers, trainees, and students. 

Our goal is to ensure that every pregnant woman in Minnesota has equal access to quality maternal health care.