Dear SAHM members and friends,

SAHM strongly condemns the President’s latest reported disparaging remarks against African and Central American countries and questioning the protection of Haitians who were forced to the United States after a devastating earthquake rocked their homeland.

This latest racist tirade is contrary to guiding principles of SAHM – equity and diversity. As members of the global adolescent health community, we strive to treat everyone with the same respect, dignity and care we would show our own family – social, economic, racial, geographic, orientation, religious background notwithstanding. We would ask that our leaders do the same. We must not cast out or discriminate against those who are different from us or from a different place. The world may be large, but let us continue to work to make it smaller through understanding, compassion, empathy and caring about each other; we are all part of the human family. Please continue to pay attention to your adolescent and young adult patients who may be negatively affected and traumatized by the current social environment. 

As someone who was a member of a medical response and relief team in Haiti immediately after the Earthquake, that occurred eight years ago on this very day January 12th, I am deeply disturbed by these reported messages. Many Haitians are still trying to recover from the rubble and devastation that changed their lives. Let us also remember those U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico who over three months after Hurricane Maria are still in the darkness, without food, clothing, clean water or shelter. We must not allow these hurtful, racist sentiments to distract us from our patients and communities that are awaiting decisions on DACA and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. I encourage you to take action. Continue to advocate for those who may not be able to advocate for themselves and those whose own advocacy efforts will be strengthened by your partnership. SAHM will also continue to work with its partners legislatively and in other advocacy efforts.

Yours in hope, action and solidarity,

Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, MPH, FAAP, FSAHM
SAHM President

More in this Section