The Society of Behavioral Medicine stated on its website that the organization strongly urges for an end to the use of excessive force by police and other law enforcement personnel. Excessive use of force by police and other law enforcement personnel is a pervasive public health crisis fueled by systemic racism that disproportionately impacts communities of color, with an undeniable bias towards Black Americans. The physical, behavioral, and psychological health effects of systemic racism, unequally experienced by Blacks in America, necessitates the need for comprehensive police reform and increased anti-racist research.
The University of Illinois Cancer Center Associate Directors of Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) and Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC), along with Acting Director Jan Kitajewski and the UI Cancer Center leadership team, supports the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s recently released policy statement. As a community-focused Cancer Center, we celebrate Juneteenth and stand in solidarity with the research, advocacy and policy community to advocate for research, engagement and education and training that mitigate the racial injustices that plague our country. We fully understand and acknowledge that systematic racism serves as a pervasive social determinant of health that unequally impacts the communities in which black and brown individuals live.
Karriem S. Watson, DHSc, MS, MPH
Associate Executive Director, Mile Square Health Center UI Health
Associate Director, Community Outreach and Engagement, UI Cancer Center at UIC
Research Asst. Professor, UIC School of Public Health Community Health Sciences
Marian Fitzgibbon, PhD
Professor, Pediatrics and Health Policy and Administration, University of Illinois College of Medicine
Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control, UI Cancer Center