June 5, 2020

The Center for Sex Education (CSE), which is part of Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey, is outraged by the violence and brutality that took the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and too many others. As our nation faces a pandemic, which is disproportionately ravaging Black communities, we must address the public health crisis that racism presents. To CSE’s Black colleagues, volunteers, partners and the Black community whose lives, health, and safety are constantly under attack, CSE stands with you.

Public health by definition is built on the principle of saving lives. There has been no greater threat to Black lives than violence being inflicted at the hands of the state — through the blatant violence inflicted by police and through centuries of policy that have systematically oppressed Black people since before the founding of our country.

The policing of Black bodies extends far beyond police action. It is in our workplaces, our schools, our public institutions. It is in our health care and education systems. It is that same policing of Black bodies that makes the promise of reproductive freedom unattainable for Black people in this country. Racism permeates every structure in our society. If Black people do not have the right to bodily autonomy to live their daily lives — or protest the violence against their lives — without the fear of violence or murder, we can never achieve justice, let alone reproductive freedom. We cannot address structural racism or white supremacy in this country without addressing our own. The Center for Sex Education is committed to standing with people of color and doing better. We are committed to ensuring a racial justice lens at our National Sex Ed Conference and in all our work in sexuality education.