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KEY: stricken = old language to be removed
         underscored = new language to be added
Authors and Status

S.R. No. 6, as introduced: 2020 2nd Special Session Posted on July 17, 2020

1.1A Senate resolution
1.2declaring racism a public health crisis.
1.3WHEREAS, race is a social construct with no biological basis; and
1.4WHEREAS, racism is embedded in the foundation of America, beginning with chattel slavery
1.5in 1619; and
1.6WHEREAS, much of the Black experience in America has been endured under slavery and
1.7Jim Crow, which created preferential opportunities for white people while subjecting people of
1.8color to hardships and disadvantages in every area of life; and
1.9WHEREAS, public health disparities have persisted for over 400 years and there are
1.10long-standing, unaddressed disparities as well as systemic racism and other socioeconomic inequities;
1.12WHEREAS, the American Public Health Association defines racism as a social system with
1.13multiple dimensions: individual racism is internalized or interpersonal, and systemic racism is
1.14institutional or structural. Systemic racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning
1.15value based on the social interpretation of how one looks that unfairly disadvantages some individuals
1.16and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of
1.17the whole society through the waste of human resources; and
1.18WHEREAS, racism is complex and it is imperative to employ an intersectional lens and
1.19approach that considers the unique ways that racism intersects with disabilities, immigration, gender,
1.20documentation status, and LGBTQ+ communities; and
1.21WHEREAS, racism causes persistent racial discrimination in housing, education, employment,
1.22and criminal justice; and
1.23WHEREAS, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the
1.24American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association
2.1recognize that racism is a social determinant of health that has a profound impact across the lifespan
2.2of an individual and that failure to address racism is an urgent public health issue that will exacerbate
2.3and perpetuate existing health inequities; and
2.4WHEREAS, more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and
2.5WHEREAS, in Minnesota the highest excess death rates exist for Black and Indigenous
2.6communities, at every age demographic; and
2.7WHEREAS, Minnesota must address persistent disparities in health outcomes and the social,
2.8economic, educational, and environmental inequities that contribute to them; and
2.9WHEREAS, while there is no epidemiologic definition of crisis, the health impact of racism
2.10clearly rises to the definition proposed by Sandro Galea: "The problem must affect large numbers
2.11of people, it must threaten health over the long-term, and must require the adoption of large-scale
2.12solutions"; and
2.13WHEREAS, racism is a public health crisis affecting our entire state and a comprehensive
2.14and intersectional approach is necessary to address the crisis, NOW, THEREFORE,
2.15BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota that it declares racism a public
2.16health crisis; and
2.17BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, based upon this affirmation, the Minnesota Senate will
2.18actively participate in the dismantling of racism by:
2.19Collaborating with the state's law and justice agencies and the community to work to ensure
2.20public confidence that public safety is administered equitably;
2.21Studying, evaluating, and conducting an assessment of the existing policies and practices of
2.22the Minnesota Senate through an intersectional lens of racial equity, setting measurable goals to
2.23advance equity through these policies and practices;
2.24Conducting an assessment related to all human resources, vendor selection, including
2.25reviewing internal processes and practices related to hiring, promotions, and leadership appointments;
2.26Enhancing data-driven education efforts on understanding, addressing, and dismantling
2.27racism, and how racism affects public health, family stability, early childhood education, economic
2.28development, public safety, housing, and the delivery of human services;
2.29Supporting local, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic
2.30racism, partnering with local organizations with a demonstrated track record of confronting racism,
2.31and meaningfully engaging with communities of color;
2.32Convening a Senate Select Committee on Minnesota's response to addressing racism as a
2.33public health crisis to ensure Senate legislative efforts are analyzed through an intersectional race
2.34equity lens; and
3.1Hereby encouraging the Governor and the House to also adopt resolutions affirming that
3.2racism is a public health crisis resulting in disparities in family stability, health and mental wellness,
3.3education, employment, economic development, public safety, criminal justice, and housing.