Everyone has a right to good health and well-being, but America's promise has fallen short. Individual health does not exist in a vacuum. It is tied to the community conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work, and age. For people of color, geography, income, and race are longstanding predictors of health outcomes. The roots of historic inequity run deep in fragmented public and private health systems and disadvantaged opportunities across the lifespan.
NAACP is committed to ending racial health disparities. Our aim is not simply disease prevention, but to create an inclusive culture of healthy people and communities. We collaborate with communities through coordinated action to improve the social determinants of health — racism, poverty, exclusion, inferior schools, unsafe housing, poor nutrition, and toxic environments. We disrupt the status quo by working at the intersection of policy and systems change to drive sustainable impact for the sake of our future.
Throughout the world, the coronavirus pandemic has underscored how important it is for a healthy nation to offer its residents robust health care options. In the U.S., our collective unwillingness to ensure affordable, accessible, quality, and timely health care for all has cost too many Black lives and unnecessarily compromised our nation's health and economic security. The U.S. is overdue for a health care system that truly bolsters health for all its people rather than fragments them further.
Affordable health care
The public and private health care systems must be transformed to be affordable, accessible, and offer high-quality health care to everyone.
Healthy people, healthy communities
Part of good health begins with access to good nutrition and quality resources. Conventional food systems that limit access to locally sourced, healthy, affordable food must be disrupted.
Health in all policies
Ongoing systems of oppression are at the root of health inequities. We work toward the redistribution of money, power, and resources as well as the adoption of proactive policies at the national, state, and local levels to optimize health for all.
One of the leading causes of death for African Americans is tobacco-related chronic illness. As increased access to health care, reducing health disparities, and limiting chronic disease are top priorities for the NAACP, we urge the FDA to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes and flavored cigar products.
A healthy community is one in which most people are free of illness, but health care is available, accessible, and affordable.- Chairman Leon W. Russell, NAACP Board of Directors