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California county declares racism a ‘public health crisis’

San Bernardino County, California has taken a rare step in confronting racism by declaring the problem a “public health crisis.”

The board of supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a resolution Tuesday “affirming that racism [is] a public health crisis” that causes disparities in health, education, housing, criminal justice and more, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“This is historic for San Bernardino County in taking the first step,” Board Chairman Curt Hagman said. “We’re probably the only county we have in California, so far, doing this, and this is the beginning of what we’re doing. This is not the end result.”

The resolution will work to end racism with initiatives that include promoting diversity in the county workforce, as well as reviewing existing policies and practices “through a lens of racial equality,” the outlet reported.

“It’s a beautiful thing to feel change happening in full effect, meaning there is hope for humanity and for the future, where my peers and I won’t fear bringing our children into such a dangerous world that will just dehumanize them,” said resident Mabel Morris-Dugbartey, who spoke before the board, according to the report.

The move comes after weeks of protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white former officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into his neck for nearly eight minutes.

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