Martin Luther King, Jr. Rosa Parks. Just two of the many civil rights leaders who fought for our personal freedom—some went to jail, others died in their fight for equality. Yet, today, inequities remain. Even though, through reform, expanded healthcare will be widely available to millions of Americans, injustice in health care remains.
Reverend King’s baritone still echoes across our country, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Today I ask you to grab hold of the courage of our forefathers and help speak out on behalf of people with diabetes:
- Unless we take action, as many as one in three adult Americans will have diabetes by 2050.
- We must Stop Diabetes® from robbing us of family traditions, healthy memories, and quality of life.
- We must embrace the patient’s right to health, healthcare, and health insurance.
- We must secure legislation to address our unique needs, such as prevention efforts.
- We must continue to find ways to fight inequities and disparities.
- And, unless we fight for equality, some of our loved ones with diabetes may continue to experience unfair treatment at work, at school and in other parts of daily life.
Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States:
- Diabetes was the fifth leading cause of death for African Americans in 2006.
- 4.9 million non-Hispanic African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
- Non-Hispanic African-Americans are 77% more likely to have diabetes compared to Caucasians.
We must unite to make freedom reign for people with diabetes—talk about, write about, help spread the word about the urgent need to Stop Diabetes and Get Involved:
- Sign up to be a Diabetes Advocate. Receive updates and alerts that provide information about key issues, and help you create and deliver timely messages to your elected officials.
- Reflect on the great historic strides made towards equality. Reach for the strength of our heroes and celebrate their legacies by advocating for positive changes.
- Help win healthcare equality for our communities, our families, and future generations by stopping the growing diabetes epidemic in the African American community.
- Learn about the Live Empowered®/African American Programs—call 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org