Renewing our struggle against racism
June 30, 2020
The Institute grieved with the nation for George Floyd and the many other lives lost to the racism, injustice and violence that have plagued Black communities for generations. We are called to recommit ourselves to ending racism in all its forms. Shortly after the killing of George Floyd, Institute president and CEO Dr. Neil Calman wrote a letter to the Institute’s staff, saying, “It is a challenging time for our organization, but this work cannot be put on the back burner because of coronavirus. Rather, the enormous disparity in impact that the virus has had on black and brown people should move us even more rapidly to action.”
Institute staff have joined the national movement for racial justice in numerous public and private ways. On June 5, the staff of several Institute health centers participated in “WhiteCoats4BlackLives,” in which health care professionals across the country took a knee for 8:46 minutes to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all of those lost to racist violence. Beyond the symbolism of these actions, we recognize that racism is present in all levels of our society, including in medicine and healthcare, and we know we must work toward making our organization anti-racist.
Recognition and speaking out is just the first step. To begin this necessary work, the Institute’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee will be conducting a listening tour of all Institute health centers and offices to hear staff suggestions and review polices, while pledging transparency throughout. Dismantling racism and injustice requires hard work, and we are committed to this effort.