In June 2020, APhA signed on to a joint statement, National Pharmacy Organizations Unite to Take a Stand Against Racial Injustice, initiated by the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA). The statement noted that racist violence against Black Americans and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color called for intentional dialogue and action within pharmacy. “All forms of racism, discrimination, and injustice are unacceptable. We must all listen, learn, and collectively address this crisis directly,” the statement read. “We encourage self and team accountability for upholding actions and social justice to bring forth peace and healing in our communities.”
APhA, NPhA, and the 11 other pharmacy groups who signed on committed to:
- Working together to provide opportunities to address health care disparities and strengthen affected communities.
- Providing pharmacist, student pharmacist, and pharmacy technician education on social injustices and systematic challenges affecting health care.
- Delivering strategies that focus on change through communications, partnerships, and solutions to address health care disparities.
- Continuing dialogue among pharmacy organizations and stakeholders to identify and implement change.
APhA acted swiftly to follow through with the promises we made when we signed the joint statement. One of the most important pieces our antiracism efforts was the creation of the Task Force to Address Structural Racism in Pharmacy. Our Board of Trustees appointed a diverse group of APhA members to serve on the Task Force and empowered them to lead, advise, and make recommendations on fulfilling our pledge.
We then asked our members and the pharmacy community to join our initiatives by engaging in open, honest conversations about structural racism now and into the future. We also designated June 26, 2020, as Pharmacists Fighting Racism Day and created social media resources to spread the message and demonstrate dedication to dismantling racial injustice.