Dear Black America,
We love you.
We affirm that Black Lives Matter. And as Black health professionals, we have a higher calling to stand for racial justice and to fight for health equity.
In the spirit of unconditional love for every single Black American, we have locked arms in an initiative to place the health and safety of our community at the heart of the national conversation about COVID-19.
Respect for our Black bodies and our Black lives must be a core value for those who are working to find the vaccine for this virus that has already taken so many of our loved ones.
Our colleagues across healthcare know that we are urging our community to take safe and effective vaccines once available. However, for this to be successful, they must do more to earn your trust—now and in the future.
We are on the front lines in care delivery, and in key decision-making roles— from the lab to the clinic to the virtual boardroom. We urge you to hold us accountable. We also ask for your help in continuing to protect the health of our community, especially now that the pandemic is escalating at crisis levels across the country.
With the holidays around the corner, we want nothing more than to break bread with our loved ones. But tradition cannot stand in the way of our health. We plead with you to wear your masks, continue social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding indoor events until vaccines are widely available.
We also ask you to join us in participating in clinical trials and taking a vaccine once it’s proven safe and effective. We know that our collective role in helping to create a vaccine that works for Black people—and that we trust—has an impact on our very survival.
We commit to keeping you updated. Please visit blackcoalitionagainstcovid.org/loveletter to learn more about the work we are doing to keep our beloved community safe. We will keep you in our hearts while we work to create a world that is healthier and more just than the one we know today.
America’s Black Doctors and Nurses
Dr. David Carlisle, President, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Dr. Martha A. Dawson, President, National Black Nurses Association
Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President, Howard University
Dr. James Hildreth, President, Meharry Medical College
Dr. Leon McDougle, President, National Medical Association
Dr. Valerie Montgomery-Rice, President, Morehouse School of Medicine
Dr. Reed Tuckson, Founding Member, Black Coalition Against COVID