I’m in conversation with Antoinette Hardy-Waller. She is Chief Executive Officer of The Leverage Network, a non-profit organization committed to the promotion and advancement of African Americans to Governance and Board roles in healthcare. We have been discussing health disparity issues on several occasions, but the COVID-19 outbreak is accelerating the absolute need for change.
The interview is in 4 parts, this is the last part.
What’s a potential risk of focusing on the short-term solutions?
“During a crisis, a lot of attention is being paid to the immediate needs of those impacted. There are significant resources committed to the issue short term and maybe up to a year after. However, a year or two post-crisis, nobody wants to hear anymore about it. ‘We’ve gotten through it, let’s settle into the next normal’.
“We never get to the deeply seeded, structural and systemic issues that exacerbated the problem to begin with. We must use the power of the pandemic and the lessons we’ve learned from it to reshape American society. We must define who we want to be and should be post-pandemic. We should not allow the pandemic to define who we are as a nation.
“And we must start by redefining the American Dream for ALL people and that starts with:
- Fair Housing
- Equal Employment Opportunities
- A right to quality Healthcare, and
“It all starts at the top, at the National level. They have to set the standard by which we govern America for all, with equity and inclusion. Those standards cannot be ‘for all’ if ‘all’ isn’t represented in the room to help influence policy that will impact the lives most effected by our current state.
“Talent and expertise does exist outside of the closely held networks that currently rule. There is fresh, new, innovative thinking that is informed by the communities they serve and live in on a daily basis. Reach beyond immediate circles of influence and identify individuals that can help our country move beyond systemic and structural bias and racism, to a United States for all.
Tags: Antoinette Hardy-Waller, Change Catalyst, The Leverage Network, CEO- The Leverage Network