"We will not back away"

Dean Fairchild responds to Breonna Taylor grand jury

September 24, 2020

 Dear College of Public Health Community, 

Breonna Taylor’s killing is one of our most recent bitter examples of the outrageous ways in which Black and Brown Americans must live with the reality of being walking — even sleeping — targets of senseless law enforcement violence. 

A Kentucky grand jury’s decision to indict one of three Louisville police officers for “wanton endangerment” of her neighbors but to bring no indictments related to Taylor’s death came a day after a White House executive order that must also galvanize our public health community. 

The Sept. 22 White House executive order aims to correct “misrepresentations of our country’s history and its role in the world.” The order described anti-bias or inclusive excellence training that acknowledges structural racism as “malign ideology” that “threatens to infect core institutions of our country.” The order prohibits the use of federal grants for trainings that represent the most fundamental knowledge and insights of a century of public health research. It also applies to federal contractors who might “inculcate” employees with these same “divisive concepts.” 

At the College of Public Health, we understand that the path toward justice begins by grappling with and dismantling the structures that divide us. It requires not only analyzing but shaping public understanding of the ways in which systems of oppression shape opportunities and choices not only for Black Americans but also for Latinos, immigrants, people with disabilities, women, members of LBGTQ communities, and others. 

Those who are not in the crushing grip of these oppressive systems sometimes have the hardest time seeing them. We will not back away from shedding light.

In solidarity,

Amy

*****

About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College’s divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 23rd among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 7-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Evaluation Studies (HOPES), Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP), and Center for the Advancement of Tobacco Science (CATS).