La Crosse Co. Health & Human Services board declares racism as a public health crisis
The resolution goes to the La Crosse Co. Board of Supervisors for a vote to enact the declaration
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – After unanimous approval Tuesday evening, the La Crosse County Health and Human Services board declared racism as a public health crisis.
The resolution was brought to the table by La Crosse County Board member Rick Cornforth and was backed by a number of community members.
Milwaukee County was the first in the nation to declare racism as a public health crisis in 2019, starting a movement across the country.
By supporting the resolution, Cornforth said La Crosse County is making a commitment to advancing racial equity and eliminating racial health disparities.
During the meeting, Antoiwana Williams, Dir. of Multicultural Student Services at UW-La Crosse said, “This is about access. This is about retention. This is about belonging. This is about righting the wrongs of our past, and now our present transgressions. Racism has and continues to have a long-term impact on one’s health – psychologically and physically. It continues to dismantle the lives of communities of color.”
In Wisconsin, Black people live six years less than white people, according to research done by Cornforth.
People of color also face higher infant mortality rates in the state.
Along with Milwaukee County, Dane, Kenosha, Eau Claire, and Rock counties have also declared racism as a public health crisis.
Now, the resolution goes to the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors for a vote to enact the declaration.
You can find more information about health disparities in our community and others by visiting countyhealthrankings.org.
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