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Green Bay to join effort and recognize racism as a public health issue

Wednesday the City of Green Bay will join other communities in declaring racism as a public health issue. It’s a way to move forward and create positive change in Brown County.
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 5:26 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wednesday the City of Green Bay will join other communities in declaring racism as a public health issue. It’s a way to move forward and create positive change in Brown County.

Action 2 News spoke to Wello in Green Bay. Wello is a well-being non-profit network and said signing onto Wisconsin Public Health Association’s declaration is the first step and a way to address systemic issues that have contributed to health inequalities and disparities in our community.

“When we look at some of the data, white citizens,live on average 16 years longer than Black citizens, and 18 years longer than Hispanic citizens, here in Brown County, so this is something that is affecting our community,” said Natalie Bomstad, Executive Director at Wello in Green Bay.

Wello did a Resident Health and Well-Being Survey in Brown county and found non-white residents reported lower well-being in all categories compared to their white counterparts. It’s also seeing the impact of racism amplified now during the pandemic and said racism has been linked to serious health issues like increased risk of diabetes, chronic stress or mental health conditions.

Wello said the benefits to making a change will have a lasting impact and will help local economies thrive when we have a community that is inclusive.

Action 2 News also spoke to Brown County United Way, a partner in the declaration.

“We’re seeing the compounding effects of the data over time and what things look like when we don’t address, and really step in and say we’re going to draw the line here, and it’s a heavy lift, but we’re committed to doing it,” said Robyn Davis, President/CEO for Brown County United Way.

Wednesday’s signing is a way to show how the city, along with community partners will work together to eliminate the harmful effects of racism.

“This isn’t just a national conversation, or a movement, we need to turn this into national action,” said Davis.

Action 2 News plans to be at tomorrow’s event outside Green Bay City Hall.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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