Statement on Recent Acts of Violence in the U.S.

Recent years in the U.S. have been marked by increasing numbers of abhorrent violent actions inflicted by whites on Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and socially marginalized people.  A subset of our society has shown a propensity to inflict pain and physical harm on people as an outward sign of hate.  Hate based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.  There has been ample discussion and finger pointing on who and what is to blame but embarrassingly little in the way of real change.  The recent tragedies in Buffalo, NY and Orange County, CA, show that we have not yet employed solutions to prevent these unfathomable and despicable acts and that “staying the course” only allows for more violence and heartbreak. 

To the family and friends of the victims we can only offer our heartfelt condolences for beautiful lives needlessly cut short; we grieve alongside you.  To the communities of Buffalo and Orange County, as well as Black and Asian people across Washington state and our country, we understand that the trauma of these recent acts of violence impact you as well; we stand united with you. 

At the WCAAP, we are acutely aware of the significant and life-altering effects these acts of hate and racism have on our BIPOC youth.  We continue to stand strong against these acts, using our platform to move initiatives forward that are part of the solution. Our efforts include a long-standing commitment to firearm safety, advancing policies which increase safety (not limit rights of firearm owners). We are longstanding partners with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.  I encourage you to learn about their leadership in common sense gun safety policies for our state.

Additionally, we are proud to be partners on the Firearm Tragedy Prevention Network, a non-political collaboration of healthcare workers (like you), public health and firearm owners working to improve families’ access to information and tools to keep their kids and loved ones safe.  Please visit the Safer Homes Coalition to access health care provider training to support your work with patients and families and the Seattle Children’s Firearm Safety page to learn about safety resources and giveaways for firearm locking devices.

While child health equity has long been at the core of our mission, for the past two years the WCAAP leadership has been intentional about developing our knowledge of equity and racism and providing you with tools to increase your knowledge and skills to advance equity and combat racism in your practice. In 2021 we published the Toolkit for Equitable Care and for the last year and a half we have hosted quarterly Equitable Care Webinars. 

Looking ahead, in 2023 we plan to launch quarterly learning collaboratives for our members to be self-reflective on their practice and learn specific ways to advance equity and combat racism in the provision of health care.

If you are so inspired, please get involved; we cannot let one more life be wasted in the name of hate.