The African American and Latino health coalitions of the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency responded to recent gun violence in urban neighborhoods with the following statement by African American Health Coalition Chair Candice Lucas and Latino Health Coalition Chair Gladys Pedraza-Burgos:

“We join the community in mourning the tragic loss of life that took place late this week on Genesee St. as well as the shooting last week at the David F. Gantt community center and countless other acts of violence that plague our city streets. As the Democrat and Chronicle reported, someone has been shot in the city on average every 32 hours this summer. These homicides underscore the need to start treating gun violence and its shocking loss of life as a public health crisis. Health data from the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency show that homicide is the third largest cause of premature death for all people who live in the heart of the city and the number one cause of early death among African American males. Not only are we dealing with the senseless loss of life, but also the trauma that is endured by victims’ families and community members who witness these assaults. Both the physical and mental health of our community is at stake. The same urgency that we would use with any other epidemic is called for now when dealing with this public health crisis.”

About the African American and Latino Health Coalitions

Convened by the FLHSA, the health coalitions strive to eliminate health disparities among Latinos and African Americans in our community by engaging leaders around issues such as youth risk behaviors, health literacy, economic stress, mental health and cultural competency. Using nonmedical interventions, the coalitions works to improve the scope, quality and availability of health services.

Shown above, homicide is the second leading cause of early death for African American living in the city's poorest ZIP codes.