The recent murders and perpetual violence at the hands of law enforcement across our country and subsequent protests have served as a stark reminder of the deeply rooted and devastating impacts of systemic racism that dates back hundreds of years. At the Higher Education Center, we have been watching and listening to the Black leaders on our campus, in the Columbus community, and among our colleagues across the country. We recognize that we have a role to play in correcting strategies used to address alcohol and drug misuse which have perpetuated health disparities and injustices to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and/or excluded them from the discourse.
HECAOD commits to the following actions to address institutional racism, disparities, and improve health equity:
- Prioritize training opportunities and conversations that challenge racist practices and language, address disparities, and support health equity
- Align ourselves with those doing anti-racist work in our field and separate ourselves from those whose values and actions do not align with ours
- Use our national platform to amplify the voices of black leaders in our field and advocate for increased representation of people of color in the higher ed AOD landscape
- Advocate for federal funding to support the development and evaluation of prevention, intervention, and recovery strategies that meet the needs of students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
The time is now to come together to take action against systemic racism, actively work to address biases, and remove barriers that hinder students from receiving equitable services and support on campus.