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Statement from Pathfinder International CEO and Chair of the Board in the Aftermath of George Floyd’s Death

Over the past week, the United States has erupted from the pain and anguish of systemic racism. At Pathfinder, we stand against the gross injustices that plague health, education, and judicial systems in the United States and around the world, and the violence and terror that continues to be wreaked upon black communities by American law enforcement and criminal justice systems.

On May 25, George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police. George Floyd is only the most recent example of many in the black community who have been brutalized and unjustly killed by law enforcement in the United States because of the institutional racism embedded in our criminal justice system.

George Floyd’s tragic death comes at a time when COVID-19 is disproportionately harming and killing black communities and other communities of color in the United States. Fighting individual, social, and structural racism is a public health and social justice emergency that must be addressed today.

“Pathfinder’s programs contribute to health equity, and people’s human rights to sexual and reproductive health care irrespective of their race, or where they live,” said Lois Quam, Pathfinder’s Chief Executive Officer. “We join in solidarity with those furthering equity and justice, including those fighting racism in the United States today.”

Our work for health, social, and gender equity at Pathfinder compels us to stand up against racism—to listen, amplify, and support each other to build a more just and equitable world. This means addressing our own implicit biases, and collectively working with our global health community to combat racism in our institutions. We are committed to fostering greater diversity, equity, and inclusion at Pathfinder—to upend the racist systems that perpetually oppress black communities and other communities of color.

“At its heart, Pathfinder is a global health organization, but just as much a human rights organization. We recognize everyone’s right to health and well-being despite their circumstances,” said Roslyn Watson, Pathfinder’s Chair of the Board. “Our conviction to stand against anti-black racism in the United States aligns with our commitment to fostering equity and justice across our entire global organization and around the world. Our Board is committed to working with Pathfinder’s global teams to act on this conviction.”