APhA launches task force, #PharmacistsFightingRacism campaign

The American Pharmacists Association said June 22 it has created a task force to recommend short and long-term strategies to eliminate racism, discrimination, injustice and the marginalization of individuals in the pharmacy profession. 

The task force will host forums, including virtual town halls, for APhA members to share their thoughts on dismantling structural racism. The effort will focus on raising awareness of racism through publications and professional development as well as advocacy and policy development. 

"The creation of this task force will put in motion an action plan to address racism and discrimination in every facet of our profession. It is important for APhA, the only organization representing all of pharmacy, to take a stand and use our platform to create positive change," said APhA CEO Scott Knoer, PharmD.

The organization said the task force's efforts include all pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmaceutical scientists and all other pharmacy personnel. 

APhA is also hosting a social media campaign using the hashtag #PharmacistsFightingRacism. The organization said on June 26 it is encouraging all members of the pharmacy community to sign onto its joint statement released June 5 to demonstrate their support for action. It also asks members to use the hashtag on their social media, and it created a Facebook filter for the day. 

"Our hope is that these efforts will introduce national changes, and with APhA's leadership, demonstrate to our communities we are listening, we stand in solidarity to advocate for our patients' health, but most importantly, we intend to take action," said Andrew Gentles, PharmD, chair of the task force.

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