The National Advisory Board (NAB) on Improving Health Care Services for Older Adults and People with Disabilities is comprised of distinguished and culturally diverse community advocates. It stands in solidarity with all who work for justice and inclusion in the United States. We believe that all Americans have the right to thrive in a society that is accessible to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.
The murder of George Floyd is the most recent of a long list of shocking and abhorrent events that do not align with the values and freedom upon which this country was built. The immediate response through protest in multiple cities demanding reform and justice is a reminder of the responsibility each of us has to help maintain our freedoms. As Americans, we play an essential part in creating a society of equity and justice — and demanding that justice be equally applied to everyone. For the NAB, this includes the essential task of highlighting the perils of structural racism and intolerance that separates many Americans from life and liberty as well as access to care. In the disability community, it is essential that we persistently speak out against these ills, as our membership is a cross section of our nation. Dr. Martin Luther King reminds us that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, intricately woven into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
We join in solidarity with those who are experiencing outrage, sadness and horror at the death of George Floyd and desire for significant change in our country. We reject the idea that peace and civility comes at the expense of Black lives, and we equally refute the idea that any American should be able to take the life of another without reproach or consequence. We encourage all who are advocates for justice to continue the conversation about creating a more inclusive society and pledge to continue our role in listening and uplifting those voices.