The brutal murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police, caught on video so that all could see, was a turning point in the Black Lives Matter movement. When Floyd’s name was added to a long list of defenseless black men and women murdered in cold blood, the country and world responded with outrage and pain.
Codman Square Health Center, an organization with deep roots in the heart of Boston’s Black community, could not remain silent. We wanted to let our patients, staff, and community know that we heard their cries of pain and trauma.
We started our response by writing a clear and concise message that we recognize and support the Black Lives Matter movement. We don’t just support the community, we are the community. Black lives have always mattered at Codman, as we treat a patient population that is more than 95% people of color. For that reason, we have stated:
“Black Lives Matter – Codman Square Health Center stands with
our community in fighting racial injustice.”
Codman created a Black Lives Matter image that incorporated the statement above and our logo. We put that image on/in:
- Facebook posts
- Facebook banner
- Twitter posts
- Twitter banner
- Instagram posts
- Regular advertisements in the Bay State Banner and the Dorchester Reporter
- Front page placement on our Codman.org website
- 2 6-foot tall retractable banners in Codman’s lobby and front vestibule (the first image you see as you ascend the Health Center’s from steps.)
- 8’ x 4’ banners on the fence in front of the Health Center and Great Hall
- 8’ x 4’ banners at our Health and Wellness Center at 450 Washington Street
We also launched a “listening session” series for staff to discuss topics such as self-care, unconscious bias, and other important issues related to racial trauma and race relations.
We acted quickly because we wanted to affirm and validate the feelings of our staff, patients, and community , but as we move forward, we will continue to seek input, including from our staff, on next steps.
Codman leadership is consulting with local organizations to provide a training for health center staff to ensure that we provide an environment that is open and inclusive, and actively anti-racist.