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June 8, 2020

United Methodist Health Ministry Fund’s Commitment to Racial and Health Equity

For over thirty years the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund has worked to improve the health and wholeness of Kansas through bringing together people from communities throughout Kansas and more recently, Nebraska. We value partnerships and collaboration and speaking out for the greater good, which is why it’s critical to state that that we do not stand for racism, intolerance, or violence of any kind. We stand for and support our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) friends and neighbors and believe that black lives matter.

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the previous deaths of many more Black Americans unjustly killed illustrate the systemic racism that is pervasive in our country. This structural racism is further underscored by the disproportionately large number of people of color suffering and dying from COVID-19. The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund shares the frustration that many feel and is committed to countering the structural and systemic racism that is deeply rooted in our state and our country.

At the Health Fund, we will work to address racial and health equity through support for policy and systems change as well as efforts to increase participation in our democratic process. We will advocate for policies that address long-standing inequities and support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led organizations that are working on these important issues. 

Kansas has one of the largest racial disparities of COVID-19 deaths in the country.  In Kansas, about six percent of the population is African American, but of COVID-19 deaths, African Americans account for 30 percent. That’s five times higher than their share of the state’s population. We will continue to work to better understand that stark disparity and to address it through advocacy, convening and funding.

At the Health Fund, we will faithfully work towards racial and health equity, holding ourselves accountable and encouraging others to do the same.  We stand ready to partner with groups to do just that in Kansas and beyond.

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