George Floyd and Racism as a Public Health Issue

Dear Reader,

We are deeply invested in serving justice to the four law enforcement officers who are responsible for the death of George Floyd. The murder of George Floyd was not an anomaly.

His murder is a continuation of systematic racism caused by white supremacy throughout the penal system. As a publication invested in public health, Intervene Upstream actively supports efforts to hold law enforcement officers accountable and to eliminate racial discrimination in America.

We echo the call from Executive Director Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association, who demands our profession’s attention directed to understanding and intervening on racism as a public health crisis. Beyond this professional association, we wish to share resources for continued education and support.

As emerging public health professionals, we have a collective responsibility to act. We must utilize scientific methods to understand the impact racism has on health, with a particular focus on community participatory research to center the needs of communities of color. Further, we must utilize prevention and implementation science to intervene alongside community members to eliminate structural violence. Lastly, we must be vigilant in demanding a world that provides safety for all members of our communities throughout the lifespan.

As public health professionals, we must continually echo: Black lives matter.


Nicky Tettamanti

Editor-in-Chief, Intervene Upstream

Direct Support

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund supports George Floyd’s community.

Communities United Against Police Brutality assists individuals and families in dealing with the effects of police brutality with a 24-hour crisis hotline, investigatory crisis teams offering immediate assistance, and influencing media coverage.

National Bail Fund Network lists donors to community bail funds that support bottom-up interventions that contest the current operation and function of the criminal legal and immigration detention systems.

Black Lives Matter

BlackLivesMatter is a network dedicated to eradicate white supremacy and to build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities.

Police Reform

Campaign Zero creates policy solutions informed by data to change the way police serve our communities.

Reclaim the Block is a Minneapolis organization focused on reducing reliance on police and strengthening community-led safety initiatives.

Understanding Police Violence:

Mapping Police Violence provides digestible infographics and research materials demonstrating racial disparity in policing and levels of violence.

Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database researches police integrity and maintains a database on over 10,000 arrest records for police between 2005-2014.

Prison Reform

Prison Policy Initiative produces research to expose the harms of mass incarceration.

Free Them All For Public Health aims to free incarcerated people and divest from imprisoning people.

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