WASHINGTON DC —The following is a statement issued by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) on the Juneteenth holiday:
Black lives matter.
Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom, and as an organization, APhA rejoices along with the Black communities who observe the holiday with remembrance, prayer, food, and togetherness.
We also recognize that Juneteenth is a day for us to be solemn and introspective. As we’ve seen especially clearly over the past year, even on jubilant days, Black elation is tempered by the traumas of everyday racism: daily images of violence, injustice, and health inequities; interactions marred by implicit bias; lip service paid to diversity, equity, and inclusion without substance or follow-through.
APhA owns its role in the problem and is committed to being part of the solution.
As the nation’s foundational pharmacy organization and the only one that represents all pharmacists in all settings, APhA has a powerful platform, and it is our responsibility to use it to make positive change.
We support and advance antiracism initiatives in pharmacy education, professional associations, every practice setting, and most crucially, in our own hearts and minds. We honor diverse perspectives and their essentiality to success. And we embrace the discomfort that accompanies productive conversations about racism. #pharmacistsfightingracism
Read Pharmacy Today’s June 2021 cover story on structural racism.
We must do the work
Here are some of the actions APhA has taken to reject hate and discrimination and actively dismantle structural racism.
- In June 2020, APhA signed on to a joint statement, National Pharmacy Organizations Unite to Take a Stand Against Racial Injustice, initiated by the National Pharmaceutical Association. The statement noted that racist violence against Black Americans and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color called for intentional dialogue and action within pharmacy. “All forms of racism, discrimination, and injustice are unacceptable. We must all listen, learn, and collectively address this crisis directly,” the statement read. “We encourage self and team accountability for upholding actions and social justice to bring forth peace and healing in our communities.”
- APhA acted swiftly to follow through with the promises we made when we signed the joint statement. One of the most important pieces of our antiracism efforts was the creation of the Task Force to Address Structural Racism in Pharmacy.
- Our Board of Trustees appointed a diverse group of APhA members to serve on the Task Force and empowered them to lead, advise, and make recommendations on fulfilling our pledge.
- We then asked our members and the pharmacy community to join our initiatives by engaging in open, honest conversations about structural racism now and into the future.
- We designated June 26, 2020, as Pharmacists Fighting Racism Day and created social media resources to spread the message and demonstrate dedication to dismantling racial injustice. #pharmacistsfightingracism
- So far, the Task Force has led two town hall discussions. Town hall attendees listen to their peers, share their perspectives, talk about racial disparities they or their patients experience, and provide feedback on our structural racism work. These town hall meetings help drive progress in organizational culture, governance, and pharmacist education.
- In March 2021, the APhA House of Delegates approved a policy statement on antiracism in pharmacy.
- Numerous APhA publications and other communications have covered structural racism to kick off the important conversations that are key to justice and progress.
Our commitment is ongoing
APhA aims to dismantle structural racism every single day. This work is not done in a vacuum: We will incorporate antiracism into everything we do.
We hope our members and pharmacy partners will join us in our journey toward a more equitable profession, health care system, and world.
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association is only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession. Our expert staff, and strong volunteer leadership, including many experienced pharmacists, allow us to deliver vital leadership to help pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians find success and satisfaction in their work, while advocating for changes that benefit them, their patients and their communities. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.
CONTACT: Frank Fortin