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“It is critical for government employees and leaders to learn about racial equity”: PHI Statement on Federal Memo Banning Anti-Racism Trainings

In response to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memo describing anti-racism training as “divisive, anti-American propaganda” and calling for Federal agencies to cease all related training activities, PHI’s Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity notes that racism is a key driver of health inequities, leading to a wide range of injustices and health harms for people of color in this country, and stands committed to supporting a proactive environment for learning, action, and transformative change to put racial equity at the center of government decision-making.

  • CCORE Staff Lianne Dillon, Holly Nickel, Julia Caplan, Colin Gutierrez, and Nancy Garcia

Statement from PHI’s Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity

Earlier this month, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released an alarming memo describing anti-racism training as “divisive, anti-American propaganda” and calling for Federal agencies to cease all related training activities. On the contrary, we know that racism is a primary cause of the divisions in our country, and programs to address institutional racism are critical to any effort to repair that damage. The OMB memo reflects a larger strategy by this Administration to prevent conversations about government’s obligation to address racial disparities at a time that the majority of the American people supports having a public conversation about and action by government to address racial injustice.

As public health practitioners, we also know that racism is a key driver of health inequities, leading to a wide range of injustices and health harms for people of color in this country, especially impacting people who are black and indigenous, and literally killing millions of people. And we know that government policies and practices have caused and perpetuated many of these harms.

It is critical for government employees and leaders to learn about racial equity including institutional and structural racism, privilege, power, and intersectionality, and to build capacity to implement institutional change strategies that result in better outcomes for the populations that governments serve, particularly those that have historically been underserved and marginalized by government.

PHI is proud to partner with Race Forward’s Government Alliance on Race and Equity, the California Strategic Growth Council, and all of you – our state government partners – as we support your work to transform state government practices in California, identifying historical legacies of racism and making meaningful changes to fulfill the vision for California for All.

The Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE) brings together over 25 California State government agencies to work together, learn about, plan for, and implement activities that embed racial equity approaches into institutional culture, policies, and practices. By developing and implementing racial equity action plans, CCORE participants are having a transformational and sustained impact.

We stand committed to doing everything possible to support a proactive environment for learning, action, and transformative change to put racial equity at the center of government decision-making. We assure you that we are not going anywhere, and that our commitment to this work, and to our partnership with you, is only growing.

We care deeply about the community we have collectively built, and it is an honor to do this work alongside you and your organizations.

In partnership, service, and solidarity,

The CCORE Team at PHI

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