Oregon PSR recognizes that equity and social justice are crucial to healthy individuals, vibrant communities, and thriving organizations. We understand that our society has deeply embedded in it centuries of white supremacy and dominance, from the massacre and dispossession of native peoples, economies built on enslavement and disproportionate imprisonment of people of color and poor people to the concentration of wealth in 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 health epidemics and crises and contribute to negative health exposures and outcomes—for example lower cancer survival and increased cardiac disease—among these groups.
Oregon PSR strives to work internally and with allies 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 the area of our expertise. Medical science and social and environmental epidemiology underline the reality that racism, poverty, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia drive concrete, quantifiable harm. These ubiquitous social issues are verifiable public health problems. We believe that as societal injustices are righted, public and environmental health will be improved.
Our current external work around equity and social justice focuses on the following groups and issues:
Fighting for immigrant rights and environmental justice in the One Oregon Environmental Committee where we are currently fighting Initiative Petition 22 and recently worked on the successful January 2018 Yes for HealthCare Measure 101 campaign.
Opposing Portland's cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force
Supporting the work of immigrant and migrant communities and activists in the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition.
Read our factsheet on Deportation and Public Health