With a conviction for the murder of George Floyd, the U.S. observes a milestone on its long and difficult march toward racial justice. And The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is reaffirming its solidarity with those acting to bring about sustainable change in rooting out the entrenched racism undermining American society and promoting equal rights for all.
GSA stands with other leading organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Medical Association in recognizing racism as a public health threat. As minority groups make up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, GSA member scientists have frequently identified the many disparities individuals in these groups experience over the life course, across many dimensions.
The pervasive prejudices in this nation â•‰ and their measurably negative impact on minorities â•‰ have often been visible within our system of law enforcement but they are not unique to it. Every institution has a role to play in holding itself accountable for eliminating conscious and unconscious discrimination and bias, which undermine our collective well-being.
The senseless killings of Floyd and other Black individuals nearly a year ago served as the catalyst to launch or accelerate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives nationwide. Although the public health threat of racism continues, the outcome in Floydâ•˙s case has the potential to provide a similar momentum for those who have a renewed sense of hope that change is possible.
GSA remains dedicated to the cause of dismantling systemic racism and â•‰ through its commitment to research, education, policy, and practice in aging â•‰ serving as a partner in efforts to achieve justice for all members of society.