All of us at Wynne Health Group mourn the death of George Floyd and are outraged at the longstanding police brutality and systemic racism resulting in his murder. We stand in solidarity with the protesters pleading for justice for Mr. Floyd and the numerous other Black Americans whose lives have been cut short, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Eric Garner, and countless others. We want to state unequivocally that Black Lives Matter and commit to actions that we are taking to combat racism and further racial justice.
As a mission-driven, public-service government relations firm, we believe in the power of policy to effect positive change. Yet we know that policies have long been used as tools to devalue and oppress Black Americans from the times of slavery through Jim Crow to this very day, by insidious discriminatory processes such as redlining, voter suppression, and mass incarceration.
The inequities borne of generations of systemic racism constitute a public health crisis, both in access and outcomes for conditions such as heart disease and asthma, and across the lifespan. Black mothers are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than White mothers, and Black Americans are currently experiencing a mortality rate 2.4 times as high as White Americans for COVID-19.
We want to be explicit about the actions we are taking at Wynne Health Group to support the Black community and to further anti-racism. Specifically, we are:
- Committing at least 2.5 percent of net profit in 2020 to health care and social justice causes affecting Black communities and other communities of color;
- Matching employee donations during the month of June up to a total of $2,500 firmwide to support causes dedicated to racial justice;
- Standing up a firmwide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative — a platform for us to continue this work beyond this moment — that addresses recruiting and hiring; internal surveying on inclusion; and teamwide training;
- Supporting Wynne Health Group clients in their own efforts to further federal policies on racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, including proactively producing resources on these topics and making them available to the public;
- Providing up to four hours/month for employee efforts to volunteer, participate in community-based organizing, volunteer for voter registration and political campaigns, etc., with an emphasis on addressing systemic inequities and barriers to participation; and
- Providing reimbursement up to $50 per employee for anti-racist literature purchased from Black-owned bookstores such as Mahogany Books in Washington, D.C.
We know there is more work to do. We commit to learning from — and amplifying — the voices of Black leaders as we put these strategies into place and practice anti-racism throughout our work. We welcome your feedback and partnership in this process.