Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) recognizes that diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice are crucial to healthy individuals, vibrant communities, and thriving organizations. We acknowledge that our society has, deeply rooted within it, centuries of white supremacy and dominance typified by the massacre and dispossession of native peoples, economies built on enslavement, the disproportionate imprisonment of people of color and poor people, the violation of human and civil rights, and the concentration of extreme wealth into the hands of a small, mostly white, elite power structure.
Long-term, structural racial and economic oppression are major factors in the disproportionate impact of health and environmental ills on people of color and those living in poverty. They fuel public health crises and epidemics and contribute to negative health exposures and outcomes for frontline communities such as higher exposure to environmental toxins in the air and water, lower cancer survival rates, increased cardiac disease, and lower life expectancy.
Oregon PSR is fully committed to working internally as well as with frontline communities and organizations to change these historical and systemic inequalities which are dehumanizing and powerful barriers to better health and a healthier environment. Human health is at the core of Oregon PSR’s mission and is our area of expertise. Medical science and social and environmental epidemiology underline the reality that racism, poverty, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia drive concrete, quantifiable harm. These ubiquitous social issues are verifiable public health problems. Because of the strong role societal injustices play as determinants of health, they must be righted if we are to achieve durable improvements in public and environmental health.
Oregon PSR’s vision statement reads: “We seek a healthy, just, and peaceful world for present and future generations.” We work to achieve our goals — including demilitarization, nuclear disarmament, and environmental and climate health through means that benefit people and communities who experience structural injustice the most. Acknowledging our privilege as health professionals, we seek to utilize our particular skills and perspectives to value, support, and advance the voices and roles of communities systematically marginalized and disproportionately impacted by health and environmental degradation. We feel strongly that the interests and perspectives of low-income communities and communities of color should be lifted up and brought to the forefront because they are essential to achieving a just, healthy, and peaceful world. We work to establish and sustain authentic relationships with organizations, institutions, and individuals who are representative of these communities, recognizing that our involvement must be responsive to the needs and leadership of each group with which we work.
Oregon PSR’s work on diversity, equity, and inclusion includes listening, learning, incorporating a social and environmental justice lens in all of our activity, recruiting a more diverse membership, Board, and staff, and supporting community-of-color and other justice-based organizations by providing accurate information and analyses, assisting with testimony and other issue advocacy, supporting equity-oriented coalitions led by such groups, and publicizing relevant issues and events to our members. We acknowledge that our work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice is ever-evolving. Our actions will contribute to unified efforts to make our society more just.
This is a living document and we invite your feedback on it.
Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing (adopted by Oregon PSR's Board of Directors 5/19/18)
One element of Oregon PSR's justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion process involves regular discussions of readings, films, exercises, and other resources addressing these issues at our staff, Board, and volunteer work group meetings. Below are some resources that we have found helpful in this ongoing exploration.
White Allies, Let’s Be Honest About Decolonization (Kyle Powys Whyte for YES! Magazine)
Racial Justice Assessment Tool (Western States Center)
Racial Justice Dominoes (Western States Center)
Broken Treaties (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
A Guide to Gender Identity & Affirmation in the Workplace (Yale University)
Principles of Environmental Justice (First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit)
13th (Ava DuVernay)
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (Peggy McIntosh)
Against White Supremacy, Militarism, and False Solutions (OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon)
Portland Isn’t as Liberal as you Think (Zahir Janmohamed)
The Time is Now (Pete Shaw)
Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for Clinical Practice (Derald Wing Sue et al)
Public Health and Social Justice Website (Martin Donohoe, MD)
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck)
Strategic Framework for a Just Transition (Movement Generation)
Responding to Everyday Bigotry (Southern Poverty Law Center)
Our Town (This American Life)
Un-gentrifying Portland (The Guardian)
How Racism Make Us Sick (David R. Williams)
African Americans Against the Bomb (radio interview with Vincent Intondi)
Detour-‐Spotting for White Anti‐Racists (Joan Olsson)
I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System (Bobby Constantino)
Invisible Victims (Holly Hunter)
In the Atomic Age, Gender Matters (Gender + Radiation Impact Project)
Nuclear War: Uranium Mining and Nuclear Tests on Indigenous Lands (Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine)
Are You Planning to Do a Land Acknowledgement? (Dr. Debbe Reece)
The Impact of Racism on Children's Health (Perri Klass, MD)
Slavery in America: The 1619 Project (The New York Times)
For Native Americans, Tribal Casinos Help and Hurt (Michelle Tyrene Johnson)
How ICE Picks Its Targets in the Surveillance Age (McKenzie Funk)
Principles of Working Together (People of Color Environmental Justice Network)
How Racism Could Drive Support for War with Iran (The Nation)
Resources on Allyship and Solidarity (Unist'ot'en Resources on Allyship and Solidarity)
Please Admit You Don't Like Poor People So We Can Move On (Hanna Brooks Olsen, Medium)
White Supremacy Culture (Tema Okun, Dismantling Racism)
Humans Are Not The Virus - Don't Be An Eco-Fascist (Sherronda J. Brown)
Leaning Into Insecurity and Ugliness as an Essential Politic (Da'Shaun Harrison)
When Science and Race Intersect, Beware Scientific Racism (Pallavi Juneja)
Addressing Law Enforcement Violence as a Public Health Issue (American Public Health Association)
Racism and Public Health (American Public Health Association)
Racism Is Killing the Planet (Hop Hopson, Sierra Magazine)
Fossil Fuel Industry Pollutes Black & Brown Communities While Propping Up Racist Policing (Gin Armstrong and Derek Seidman, Eyes on the Ties)
Want to Eliminate Waste? Then Let’s Eliminate Prisons, Too. (Aditi Varshneya)
The Importance of Black Doctors (NPR/OPB)
A Northern Family Confronts Its Slaveholding Past (Katie June-Friesen, Smithsonian Magazine)
Black August Celebrates the History of Black Resistance in the US (Maya Finoh, Teen Vogue)
A Teacher Mispronouncing a Student’s Name Can Have a Lasting Impact (Corey Mitchell, PBS Newshour)
On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic (Jesmyn Ward, Vanity Fair)
Liberal, progressive — and racist? The Sierra Club faces its white-supremacist history (Daryl Fears and Steven Mufson, The Washington Post)