Our Chicago: "The State Of Health For Blacks In Chicago"

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Thursday, Chicago declared racism a public health crisis in the city.

One reason for that: the life expectancy gap between Black Chicagoans and non-black Chicagoans is growing.

On average, black Chicagoans now live 9.2 years less than their non-black counterparts, according to a new report from the Chicago Department of Public Health called "The State of Health for Blacks in Chicago."

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According to a new report, racism plays a role in the shorter life expectancy of black Chicagoans.

Yaa Simpson, one of the individuals that is part of the Chicago Department of Public Health Equity Index Committee, said a baseline has to be established in order to know what needs to be improved in terms of health equity.

"Unfortunately, racism isn't a factor we can actually measure, but we can see the outcomes on things like life expectancy," Simpson said.

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The homicide rate is nine times higher for black individuals compared to non-black people.

Blair Aikens, another individual on the committee, said the report involves all Chicagoans to make improvements.

"Even if you're not black, it doesn't mean you don't have a role. You can make a change in your community, you can advocate for changes in black communities, you can advocate against racism and say something if you see something going on," Aikens said.
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