NAACP applauds joint resolution declaring racism as public health crisis in Virginia


In a virtual press conference, Robert Barnette, the president of both the Virginia State Conference NAACP and the Hanover County NAACP, called on legislators to address police accountability and racial bias in law enforcement.

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia State Conference NAACP released a statement Wednesday applauding the passage of a joint resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis.

President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. said the following regarding Tuesday’s passage of House Joint Resolution 537:

“When the Virginia NAACP released our legislative agenda for the General Assembly session, we made the declaration of Racism as a Public Health Crisis our number one priority this year. We know that Systemic Racism manifests itself as a determinant to public health through persistent Racial Disparities in all areas of our lives.

We commend Delegate Lashrecse Aird for championing this NAACP priority legislation, and applaud members of the General Assembly who voted in favor of this important resolution. When signed into law, Virginia will become the first state in the south to declare Racism as a Public Health Crisis.

The Virginia NAACP expects nothing less than Governor Ralph Northam’s approval of this resolution. Virginians of color, especially Black Virginians, deserve no further delay of the Commonwealth’s public recognition of this centuries-old Crisis.”

Read the full bill here.

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