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Health and wellness the focus of Sisolak’s Black History Month proclamation


Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday proclaimed February Black History Month in Nevada. The proclamation  follows 46 years of recognition of the month at the federal level. 

The governor said he will also commemorate the start of Black History Month by lighting the Las Vegas sign red, black and green alongside Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy II, who is Black.

The theme of this year’s Black History Month is “Black Health & Wellness,” which according to the governor’s office, focuses both on the legacy of Black scholars and medical practitioners and “the multiple facets of Black health and wellness through education and activism.”

The governor called on Nevadans to build solidarity toward one another as “we are all human beings first,” he said. “As Nevadans, we understand that this is not something that can be done alone. Instead, it is going to take all of us working together – to heal, to bring justice, to make Nevada a warm and welcoming place for all.”

Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell
Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Image: Trevor Bexon / This Is Reno

A rally in June 2020 also saw the intersection of the medical and Black communities and calls for healing and justice. Local physician and advocate Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell and others led a White Coats for Black Lives rally at City Plaza in honor of George Floyd, who was murdered by Minneapolis police officers.

“I wanted to bring together medical professionals to show we care about the injustice in the past, present, and to work towards change for our future,” Curry-Winchell said at the time.

Just a few months after Reno’s rally the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities released a report that included data on the impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color

Based on data from the initial months of the pandemic, Blacks had the highest rate of hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the state and higher rates of death from the disease based on race.

The report also found that a large percentage of confirmed COVID-19 cases were in communities of color who are oftentimes are overrepresented in the state’s essential frontline workforce.

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