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San Bernardino County has officially declared racism as a public health crisis.
After meetings, discussions, and comments from faith leaders, activists, and members of the Black community, the San Bernardino board of supervisors made the declaration earlier this week.
“I urge everyone involved in this monumental opportunity for change to think big,” Supervisor Josie Gonzales said. “I want to enable you all to bring the 24 cities, bring the mayors on board. Find new leaders within your community who will run for office in the future. Let’s get everything we’ve got on the table and let’s make this new opportunity work.”
Earlier in the month, supervisors voted to add "equity" as an additional element to the Countywide Vision. They also agreed to form a group of community members and experts to identify programs and policies that could help address racism in law and justice, health care, and economic opportunity in the county.
This move was sparked by the nationwide unrest and protests following the death of George Floyd.
Members of the community are excited for this effort from the county.
“It’s a beautiful thing to feel change happening in full effect, meaning there is hope for humanity and the future, where my peers and I won’t fear bringing out children into such a dangerous world that will just dehumanize them,” said Mabel Morris-Dugbartey, a Fontana resident and college advisor with the Blu Educational Foundation in San Bernardino. “Where as the beautiful Black woman I am, I won’t fear running errands by myself because a racist terrorist group runs the streets freely, where my family and I won’t fear my brother and his friends going out to the mall without being racially profiled.”
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