The Role of Environmental Health in Addressing Racism
On July 14, 2020, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) Board of Directors voted to approve a position statement on racism and environmental health. The position statement, Role of Environmental Health in Addressing Racism as an Environmental Health Issue, acknowledges that racism is a threat to public health and that it threatens public health through fostering race-based differences in access to and quality of healthcare. Furthermore, NEHA recognizes that racism hinders its members from fully carrying out its mission to "advance the environmental health professional with the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all." NEHA recommends that environmental health professionals address structural and systemic racism that hinder the delivery of environmental health services to the most vulnerable populations.
To accomplish this endeavor, NEHA recommends the following action items for environmental health agenices:
- Adopt statements on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Uphold environmental justice.
- Utilize a Health in All Policies (HiAP) framework to inform decision-making.
- Require justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion training for staff.
- Employ hiring practices that encourage diversity in the workforce.
Visit our Position Papers page for a list of all approved NEHA policy and position statements.