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Lexington Racial Justice Commission subcommittee meets virtually for first time

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 5:31 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Today marks one of the first committee meetings for Mayor Linda Gorton’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality.

One of the sub-committees is focusing on health disparities for black and brown communities.

It was the first sub-committee meeting but the group is on a tight timeline, so after introductions, the members jumped right into barriers people of color may encounter when seeking healthcare.

Some of the main problems the committee identified include access to doctors and clinics near their homes, with concerns that there aren’t many offices or facilities in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods.

Finances was another big one—seeing a private practitioner isn’t cheap and without proper health insurance, money alone can deter people from seeing a doctor.

But the overarching goal that several members say affects every sub-committee in the mayor’s commission is cultural competency.

“It’s because people have certain biases and that comes from understanding each other so until we change how those healthcare professionals understand African American people and brown people and other people of ethnicity until we can change that cultural understanding of each other, I think that has to be involved in every one of these committees,” said committee member Stephen Overstreet.

Mayor Gorton is asking for recommendations by the middle of next month.

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