On July 20, 2020, the board of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) approved a resolution acknowledging that racism is a public health crisis facing Minnesota, and that the nonprofit sector has important role as part of a society-wide effort to dismantle systemic racism and address structural barriers to health and economic well-being in Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only elevated what has already been known, and vigorously declared by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC): that the fundamental elements needed to thrive – health, safety, economic security, the ability to influence the decision-making of institutions that impact one’s family and community – are not equally available to all.
Exclusionary and racist policy choices over the past century in areas including housing, education, and job opportunities; ongoing forms of discrimination and bias; and lack of public investment in communities of color, have created structural barriers leaving workers of color with lower average earnings, higher rates of unemployment
, lower rates of health insurance coverage
and restricted avenues to build intergenerational wealth. The American Public Health Association (APHA) resolved in 2020 that “Racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now,” and COVID-19 is now worsening the economic and health implications of racism