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Hancock and Washington Counties are home to diverse, vibrant communities where healthful resources are available and people work together for the common good.
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Healthy Acadia’s Statement on Systemic Racism and Health Equity 

June 10, 2020

Updated: June 22, 2020

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. We say their names as we grieve their tragic, unjust killings. We say their names to honor their memories and lives - lives that matter, deeply. We say their names knowing that countless others - known and unknown - have faced and continue to face discrimination, harm, and death at the hands of systemic racism and violence. And we say their names as we reaffirm and deepen our commitment to address the longstanding injustices that prevent people - particularly Black people and others of color - from living lives with safety, health, and well-being.

We at Healthy Acadia are dedicated to working together with individuals and organizations to build healthy communities for all. We are dedicated to responding to community needs and addressing the many barriers to public health. And we know that one of the most devastating barriers to health is racism. We know this not only because we witness the devastating impacts of violence on Black, Indigenous, and Latinx lives, but also because we see the tragic impacts of discrimination and racism on social determinants of health and health outcomes. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people, along with others of color, face staggering disparities in life expectancy, maternal and infant mortality, chronic medical conditions, and more. They face unacceptable discrimination in the health care setting, unsafe working conditions, mass incarceration, unjust exposure to pollution and noise, and lack of access to healthcare, green spaces, nutritious food, and educational opportunities - all of which dramatically harm health. COVID-19 has become tragic proof of such inequities - people of color are more likely to develop COVID-19, are diagnosed later in the disease, and have higher rates of hospitalization and death, including in Maine. And while COVID-19 and the recent slew of killings are the latest manifestations of the devastation of systemic racism, we know that the injustices and the structural threats to health and life caused by racism have persisted for generations.   

We at Healthy Acadia commit to the following:

  • We affirm that Black lives matter and we stand against all forms of violence and hate. 

  • We stand in solidarity with Black people, Indigenous people, Latinx people, all people of color, and all marginalized individuals and groups.

  • We will continue to learn, listen, and take action to address systemic racism and to promote racial and health equity, knowing that we must confront this deeply rooted challenge as both a moral and public health crisis. 

  • We will continue to actively monitor the COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolds, particularly focusing on its threats to the most vulnerable in our communities, determining how best to respond, to keep our communities safe, and to support those who are most at risk. 

  • We will conduct an organization-wide reexamination of our policies and practices to ensure they are actively anti-racist and pro-equity. 

  • We will commit to doing more to ensure that our programming, trainings, and offerings are actively anti-racist and pro-equity. 

  • We will work with partners from all sectors to engage in important conversations and actions to build stronger, safer, anti-racist, peaceful, and pro-equity communities. 

  • We will work with communities throughout the region to hold critical conversations about racism and systemic violence, and how to build a region that is welcoming and supportive to all communities of color, as well as to visitors and people seeking to become new Mainers.

  • We will work to further understand and share Maine’s history in propagating racism - including through colonialism, forceful separation of Indigenous children from their families, KKK activities, and more - as well as our history in advancing anti-racism, social justice, and equity.

  • We will continue to support our Racial Equity Team at Healthy Acadia, launched several months ago, and take action on their recommendations and guidance.

  • We will continue to build a resource list, started by our Racial Equity Team, to share information and tools with each other and with the public. Anyone can access those resources here.

  • We will continue to explore, listen, and learn to determine what more we can do to be partners in positive change.

We know that there is an extraordinary, at times overwhelming, amount of work to be done to truly dismantle the devastating, deeply-rooted systemic racism that manifests itself throughout sectors and in all corners of our country and beyond. And yet, we see the seeds of hope and progress - people of all races and backgrounds coming together peacefully to work towards positive change; organizations, corporations, and law enforcement standing against racism and in support of actively addressing the challenges we face; entities across the nation exploring improvements to policies, practices, and structures. 

We wholeheartedly support the statement published jointly by the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, the Maine Sheriffs Association, the Maine Prosecutors Association, and the Maine Department of Public Safety. One passage states: “There is no place for racism and police brutality in Maine or in our country. Maine law enforcement officers can and must do better. We cannot change what happened, but we can look inward and forward.” We applaud the law enforcement officials in our region and throughout Maine who are committed to opposing racism, and we thank them for their dedicated service and sacrifices to support, serve, and protect our communities.

We at Healthy Acadia are also committed to looking inward and forward, to being part of the positive change, with humility, compassion, a commitment to listen, learn, and share, and a dedication to doing what we can, no matter how long it takes or how hard it may be. Atatiana Jefferson, Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice. We will continue to say their names and honor their lives with our intentions and our actions. Building a world with racial equity, where all people have access to healthful resources, safe communities, and opportunities to reach their potential, demands nothing less. 




Community Health Connects Us All

Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community health organization working to address critical, locally defined health priorities. We serve Washington and Hancock counties, and we provide additional community health support and leadership across Maine. Healthy Acadia’s mission is to empower people and organizations as we build healthy communities together. 

Since 2001, we have worked together with hundreds of partners and thousands of community members to address a wide range of local health needs. We address the critical health challenges our communities face and make it possible for all people to lead healthier lives throughout Hancock and Washington counties, Maine. We build partnerships, coordinate health education and public health services, and improve policies, systems, and environments to create positive and lasting change.


Healthy Acadia works on a broad range of collaborative community health initiatives, with six areas of focus:

Strong Beginnings - to support healthy development and resilience from birth to adulthood;

Healthy Food for All - to ensure that all people have access to nutritious, affordable food, and to make the healthy choice the easy choice;

Active and Healthy Environments - to ensure that our indoor and outdoor spaces are safe, healthy, and promote physical activity and wellness;

Healthy Aging - to ensure that all of us can age well - with strength, dignity, comfort, and grace;

Substance Prevention and Recovery - to support people of all ages to live lives free of substance misuse and substance use disorder, and to support individuals throughout their recovery journey; and

Health Promotion & Management - to improve community supports across a wide range of health needs, from cancer patient navigation and stress reduction to barrier removal for health challenges and chronic disease and pain self-management.

Healthy Acadia is dedicated to making it easier for people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. We envision vibrant communities where people thrive and healthful resources are easily accessible.

Healthy Acadia relies on support from both private and public funding sources to bring about lasting and positive change in our communities. To donate, click here

Healthy Acadia is proud to work in partnership with AmeriCorps. 



Mini-grants to help Hancock County residents reach greater self-sufficiency.