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Statement from our CEO on Working to End Structural Racism

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

Dear Friends of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois (NKFI),

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. These words are as true today as they were when Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke them over 50 years ago. The statement reflects the need to identify and execute strategies for systemic change in our society. Racial inequities, poverty, and health disparities are all injustices that plague our minority communities in disproportionate measures. Kidney disease and the primary underlying issues affect African Americans at a rate nearly four times higher than others. COVID-19 has affected the same population at similarly alarming rates. That is injustice. I call the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, to place a human face on the results of structural racism.

Systemic change will require our individual and collective voices identifying the issues and working collaboratively on the solutions. Peaceful protests pivoting to support, develop and sustain civic, economic, equal education, and health equity and wellness initiatives can result in positive change. It will take everyone’s time, attention, and talents to create and sustain change that matters.

At NKFI, we are keenly focused on improving the health and well-being of people at risk for or affected by kidney disease through prevention, education and empowerment. We pledge to stand strong in solidarity with the African American community and to do our part to reduce the health disparities and move toward health equality. We welcome and appreciate your participation with us.


Jackie Burgess-Bishop, FACHE


Queridos amigos de la Fundación Nacional del Riñón de Illinois (NKFI).

"La injusticia en cualquier lugar es una amenaza para la justicia en todas partes.' Estas palabras son tan ciertas hoy como lo fueron cuando el reverendo Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. las pronunció hace más de 50 años. La declaración refleja la necesidad de identificar y ejecutar estrategias para el cambio sistémico en nuestra sociedad. Las desigualdades raciales, la pobreza y las disparidades de salud son todas injusticias que afectan a nuestras comunidades minoritarias en medidas desproporcionadas. La enfermedad renal y los principales problemas subyacentes afectan a los afroamericanos a un ritmo casi cuatro veces mayor que otros. COVID-19 ha afectado a la misma población a tasas igualmente alarmantes. Eso es injusticia. Llamo los nombres de George Floyd, Breonna Taylor y Ahmaud Arbery, para poner una cara humana en los resultados del racismo estructural.