African American Mayors Association Adopts Resolution Supporting Advance Planning

Resolution promotes education, empowerment and advocacy to help address inequities in end-of-life care outcomes.
May 26, 2021

Mayor Tim Ragland of Talladega, Alabama

On May 14, the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) adopted a resolution to educate, empower and advocate around end-of-life care for African American communities. The resolution was sponsored by Mayor Tim Ragland of Talladega, Alabama, and passed unanimously at the mayor’s February 2021 meeting. Founded in 2014, the AAMA is the only organization exclusively representing African American mayors in the United States with the goal of empowering local leaders for the benefit of their citizens. 

The resolution states, “… the AAMA recognizes that African American disparities extend to the end-of-life process and recommends that individuals and families educate themselves on all aspects of end-of-life planning including advance healthcare directives, healthcare proxies, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and end-of-life options.” Further, “AAMA must be proactive in educating, empowering and advocating for our community at the end of life, and we will work with and encourage our legislators to share resources with our constituents.”

“We salute AAMA for their unwavering leadership and pledge to better educate African American communities about end-of-life care options, such as hospice and palliative care,” said Brandi Alexander, national director of community engagement for Compassion & Choices. “Historically, African Americans have experienced disparities in healthcare outcomes at all stages of life. AAMA’s resolution is an important step in helping ensure more African Americans have access to education and resources dedicated to end-of-life care.”

“This resolution acknowledges the urgent need for educating our community about the alarming disparity in access and education around end-of-life care,” said Mayor Ragland. “The AAMA believes African Americans should have access to information about end-of-life planning so each individual can decide what is best for them, in consultation with their doctor and family and with their faith.”

Health disparities are apparent in many aspects of end-of-life care throughout the Black community. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association, only 8% of hospice users are African American, and the National Center for Health notes that only 13% of African Americans have a living will in place. 

Resolutions such as this provide a powerful endorsement of important issues and are critical to building momentum for end-of-life options nationwide. Read the full AAMA resolution.

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