June 1, 2020: Seattle Children’s Statement on Acts of Racism Across the U.S.

We are writing to acknowledge the tragic acts of violence and racism happening across our country.

The senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minnesota leave us sickened and heartbroken. While we share our grief with these families and their communities, we must also acknowledge with sorrow our region’s own history of racially motivated violence, discrimination, and marginalization.

These recent events are set against the backdrop and acute pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color in the United States. Added to the burden of this crisis are the magnifying health and economic disparities, which are due to systemic racism and social injustices that have existed for far too long across generations.

These are the moments we cannot be silent—and Seattle Children’s will speak out, oppose racism, and advance our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. We are all affected negatively when one part of our community is burdened by racism and violence, and we are all part of the solution.

As leaders of a top children’s health system, serving a vast and diverse region, we will respond by elevating and upholding our core value of equity and by reaffirming our commitment to health equity, including eliminating health disparities and bias in medicine. Where others seek to divide, we must join together to support our patients and families, serving every child that needs us—regardless of their family’s ability to pay, the color of their skin, or the language they speak.

We stand with you, our community. The tragic violence and hateful rhetoric unfolding across the country and close to home are profoundly disturbing to all of us, and our black community members in particular. We support the peaceful pursuit of justice that has been reverberating across the country this past weekend.

These events must deepen our shared commitment to protect, heal, and support the most vulnerable among us. Inherent in our mission is a commitment to this generation of children and a promise of hope and resiliency that they should see a better world. Together, we must continue to pursue actively our value of equity every day, promising to stand with the diverse communities that we are proud to serve.


Seattle Children’s Executive Leadership Team