Dear Seed Community,
This Friday, June 19, Seed Global Health will mark Juneteenth as a company-wide holiday. Juneteenth is an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. This is a day of significant—and for too long under recognized—celebration. Together, we observe our collective painful history and we celebrate Black people and culture.
We hope our recognition of this significant day will join and motivate others to do so as well. We encourage all to use the day for reflection and learning. The U.S. has a history that is laced with a number of painful policies and practices that are rooted in inequality, violence, and racism. We must educate ourselves about these systems and the ways in which they severely impact the quality of life and opportunity for Black people in this country. It is up to us to learn how we can be a part of the solution—from our homes to our work places to our communities. And how everyday we can be agents of positive and necessary change.
Racism is universal.
Through our work at Seed Global Health, we have experienced how countries with whom we partner have been crippled by colonialism, racism, and power structures that perpetuate inequities and create a cycle of dependency. As a part of the global health community, we are deeply committed to changing this dynamic and ensuring that people with whom we work are the custodians of their own power.
We each have to be a part of the change. At Seed, we are engaging in a series of proactive learning and implementing new organizational systems to make sure that our practices align with our values and every voice is celebrated, respected, and thrives.
As we celebrate Juneteenth, I hope that we will shine a light on the parts of ourselves, our communities, and systems that have resulted in Black people experiencing oppression and injustice. Now is the time to collectively roll up our sleeves and break free from a painful status quo. Together, we can dismantle a destructive system and meaningfully build a better, safer, and healthier future for all.
Vanessa B. Kerry, MD, MSc
CEO, Seed Global Health