Dear Montana Cancer Coalition members and partners,
The Montana Cancer Coalition stands with people of color, Indigenous people and all others who are oppressed or marginalized within our society. The Montana Cancer Coalition stands with those who are raising voices seeking fundamental change in eliminating the pervasive racism that has been and continues to be actively supported in policy, action, and perspective, for the past several hundred years.
Cancer, like racism, does not affect everyone equally; with many cancers having the highest incidence and mortality in Black and Indigenous populations. We know that Black Lives Matter. With Montana’s history and ongoing reality, we also assert that Indigenous Lives Matter.
The disproportionate impact of many cancers on Black and Indigenous communities is another manifestation of the same structural racism that led to the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, as well as countless others. We in health care will abandon our calling and violate our oaths and values if we allow inequities to persist. We must do better.
As a coalition, we are currently working on the 2022-2027 cancer plan. We must use this momentum against systemic racism to enhance and direct our upcoming work to address and eliminate the inequities in health and health care every day. Racial injustice cannot be tolerated.