Chang W. Lee—The New York Times/Redux
(The following was part of a letter written to the AcademyHealth Disparities Interest Group, March 23, 2021):
Dear AcademyHealth Disparities Interest Group members,
I have been heartened by the outpouring of support for the Asian American community from so many others. Like other Asian Americans, I have been carrying this weight- the heightened expectation of racist violence- for over a year now. Some of us were looking forward to a much-needed spring break- or for others, at least a pause- we spent the week in mourning, anger, and perhaps most of all, exhaustion. Amidst our grief, it helps to know that we are not alone.
I thank all of you for your continued support as we, in the leadership, made the decision to focus this year’s activities on the role of structural racism in the creation and perpetuation of health inequities. I know that health ‘disparities’ spans a multitude of sources of injustice. However, I hope we can be reminded once again from this week’s tragedy that our intersections matter- and in turn, solidarity also matters.
Change- of the substantive, structural kind- requires collective action. Though we are only an interest group of a professional organization, we aim to support everyone to further this work- through education, development of policy recommendations, and building our community. This is hard work, and we want you to know that we are here for you.
Michelle Ko, MD, PhD
Chair, AcademyHealth Disparities Interest Group