GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Grand Rapids has officially declared racism a public health crisis. The city commission approved this resolution last week.
City officials say ultimately, racism is impacting the health of people who live in Grand Rapids. They say this is happening in a number of ways, including job discrimination, homeownership, physical health and education.
This new resolution would give the city more power to fix this by being able to assess the budget and think more about the policies that the commission passes.
Stacy Stout, the city’s director of equity and engagement, says it’s important to bring this issue to light.
“We can’t address something if we don’t talk about it; you have to name it, so I think that’s really important,” said Stout. “As we live our values of equity, I mean, racism is a public health crisis, so it’s just telling the truth. I think that’s really important if we are going to heal as a community and if we’re going to grow as a community.”
Stout also says that they plan to work with community organizations as well to make sure that they’re prioritizing diversity initiatives.