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Racism is a Public Health Crisis

COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the intersection of racism and healthcare in this country. Chronic racist inequity has produced terrifying outcomes in terms of the disproportionate effect the virus is having on African-Americans and Latinx people.

The protest movement that erupted after the murder of George Floyd sharpened a national conversation about racism in this country. Many have demanded that institutions which hurt people be defunded, and that this money be redirected towards healing communities.

Join a conversation of labor and community activists who will be discussing work they and their organizations are doing as it relates to this topic.

Stacy Davis Gates is the Vice President of the CTU and the Executive Vice President of the IFT. This past fall, she helped to lead a 15-day strike and to negotiate an historic contract that provides for smaller class sizes, ensures a nurse and social worker in every Chicago public school, secures sanctuary protections for immigrant families, and supports students and families experiencing homelessness.

Denise Mercherson is a Medical Social Worker at John H. Stroger Hospital, and is an active member of SEIU Local 73. She has worked as a licensed, clinical social worker since 2017, and before that, worked in employment and labor law.

Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH has been a voice for social justice and health as a basic human right for over 50 years. In the Cook County Health System she previously served as Chief Medical Officer for primary care, and is speaking as a member of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Damon Williams is a movement builder, organizer, educator and media maker. Damon is the co-founder of The #LetUsBreathe Collective and AirGo Media, and is speaking as a member of the Black Abolitionist Network.

Elaine Mister will be moderating the event. She is a nurse case manager at UCMC, and was a leader in organizing her fellow nurses to become members of NNU.

Presented by: Black Abolitionist Network, Chicago Teachers Union, National Nurses United, Physicians for a National Health Program Illinois and SEIU 73.