A Statement from Breathe DC’s President and CEO
Breathe DC is angered and outraged by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. These senseless murders go against all of humanity’s principles of caring, inclusion and justice.
Our mission, centered around the fact that “Every breath counts,” aims at addressing health disparities in communities of color through promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing lung disease. In essence, Breathe DC is here to help our people breathe easier. However, our efforts are challenged daily by tobacco companies spending millions to market tobacco products to communities of color, to addict them to mentholated tobacco products, worsening asthma, causing emphysema, lung cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.
Other health injustices imposed on communities of color include, dilapidated housing in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, environmental pollution and lead poisoning, educational inequities, an unfair judicial system, and people forced to work and serve for less than minimum wage. These inequalities fostered by generations of racism, have a devastating effect on our people from the cradle to the grave.
Every action counts—towards making good on full equality in the democratic experiment that is the United States of America. We must embrace hope as we strive to tear down the walls of racism and inspire profound and lasting change in the United States. Let us all work to address institutionalized and systemic racism and the injustices, and power imbalances, that are engendered by these systems. We must continue to insist that Black Lives Matter. Let us lift every voice, cast every vote, change every unfair public policy, redeem every soul, and enlighten every mind so that we may be able to one day soon realize the right to equality.
Every word counts—Breathe DC joins individuals, organizations, and countries in condemning racism and its inhumane consequences. We condemn racism in all its forms including police abuse and judicial biases. Breathe DC will work with those aligned to eradicate racism through the power of our organizational mission and reach. Let us all work hand in hand to deliver on a promise of change and accountability, to fix the broken systems and intrinsic cultural failures that have brought us here to this tumultuous moment.
Just step out on faith and act with strength, courage, and wisdom.
We will not rest until no community, no neighbor, no one in our society has to plead for air and fight for equality—until we all can breathe.
Rolando Andrewn, MBA
President & CEO
Breathe DC Inc.