June 11, 2020
Dear yoga4cancer Community –
We, at yoga4cancer, believe it’s imperative to voice our commitment and support to racial equality and racial justice. We celebrate and support the current movement of vigils, protests, rallies and peaceful action to raise awareness of the systemic racial injustice in our country and continue to create a society that is just and equal to all. We believe that black lives matter.
Although cancer doesn’t see race, healthcare, oncology resources and support clearly does. Strong data shows that Black Americans have the highest incidence and death rates from cancer when compared to every other race or ethnicity in the US. Various factors contribute to this disparity including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and post-diagnosis support like yoga interventions. While some data indicates that genetics play a role in less favorable outcomes for some cancer patients and survivors, it is believed the systematic lack of awareness and support has a bigger impact. Regardless, all these factors have a disproportionate impact on mortality and overall well-being of Black Americans. More Black Americans are dying from cancer and have poorer recovery outcomes. We can do better.
Awareness of race discrepancies in healthcare is fundamental to our mission. Bridging healthcare inequality is a form of social justice. For two decades, we have witnessed this inequality and tried to bring awareness by removing barriers to recovery support – like access to oncology yoga. Sadly, most Black American cancer patients and survivors still lack the support they need. Again, we can do better.
Today, we add our voice and support to the Black Lives Matter movement. We are in full support and will continue to advocate for racial equality. We can and must do better.
Together we can help more cancer patients and survivors.
Tari Prinster, yoga4cancer Board and Team