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Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Thought piece: Akilah Johnson. "On the Minds of Black Lives Matter Protesters: A Racist Health System." ProPublica. 05 June 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world extreme inequities among the U.S. population. People of color in the U.S. have died in disproportionate amounts from the Coronavirus over the last seven months in addition to a much longer history of dying from unwarranted police violence. The Black Lives Matter protests call out the racial injustices that exist and demand change. While many people of privilege wish this pandemic would be over so we can revert back to our former ways of being, the reality is that we—as a nation— cannot afford to do so. Too many individuals in this country lack the safety, security and respect they deserve.

For me, this means we must make fundamental changes to gun laws, homelessness, hunger, employment and health care for every person in our country. Over the next twenty years, I want to see the United States engage in the hard work to become a more humble and humanitarian country. This will require every citizen to do the hard work of acknowledging and reconciling the errors of our past. Moving forward, we need to elect intelligent, inclusive, and compassionate leaders to govern at all levels across this country.

~~ Dr. Rachel O'Brien (Professor, Geology Department at Allegheny College)

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